Martha Graham: When Dance Became Modern

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Product Details
$40.00  $37.20
Knopf Publishing Group
Publish Date
6.7 X 9.5 X 2.0 inches | 2.3 pounds

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About the Author
NEIL BALDWIN is the critically acclaimed author of biographies of William Carlos Williams, Man Ray, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford. He is emeritus professor of theatre & dance at Montclair State University.
"Mesmerizing . . . The trailblazing Graham seemingly sculpted modern dance out of thin air, creating indelible works like Heretic, Lamentation, and Primitive Mysteries, always looking to the future. Provocative and passionate as the dynamo herself, this richly detailed and insightful page-turner will delight dance aficionados."--Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Neil Baldwin's majestic biography of Martha Graham comes at a time in these comic book days when our souls need to be inspired by the austere passion of this American pioneer, this fanatical 'prophetess', whose dances unleashed primitive sacred energies in the earth and created a new vocabulary for the human body. Baldwin's meticulously researched, immensely readable biography puts Graham shoulder to shoulder with those other avatars of the Modern, Frank Lloyd Wright and Gertrude Stein, who created frontiers that still demand exploration."--John Guare

"Comprehensive and engaging . . . Baldwin includes detailed descriptions of specific recitals, Graham's jersey-fabric dance wear, the lives of her dance colleagues (Ruth St. Denis; Ted Shawn; Lincoln Kirstein) and artists of the time (sculptor Isamu Noguchi; composer Aaron Copland). Side trips into Graham's sometimes-complicated personal life broaden the book's appeal."--Kirkus

"Neil Baldwin's definitive biography of pioneering dancer Martha Graham is a compelling and brilliant study of a complicated, dedicated woman who gave everything she had to modern dance. Baldwin reminds us what a modernist Graham was: she brought dance directly from the domination of ballet into a modern American idiom. Baldwin brings his incisive knowledge of the stars in the panoply of modernism--from Mabel Dodge Luhan to Lincoln Kirstein--to a dramatic narrative of Graham's development and success. Just as Graham made the many parts of a modern dance piece, from music to costumes, and, of course, her own brilliant vison for the piece, and performance--work together, so Neil Baldwin brings together all the elements of Graham's colorful life, writing with wit, verve, critical discernment, and a powerful lyricism. I greatly enjoyed this book and learned a lot."--Mary Dearborn