Sunday, October 10, 2010

Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring

It just occurred to me that I haven't been posting much on dance, so I bring you screen shots from one of my favorite ballets, Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring, which premiered in 1944. When she danced the staring role, she was around 50 years old, yet, she continued to dance into her 70s. I hope that I remain as physical through my senior years.
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Picture 10
The ballet, set design, and musical score, the latter written by Aaron Copeland, were influenced very much by the Shakers. Back in April, Pete & I visited the Shaker Village in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The Shakers lived a very rigid and austere life, but for the dance, in which they were allowed to display their devotion to God. In a celebratory manner, they really cut loose while dancing. Against a sparse & simplistic background, the dancers in "Appalachian Spring" hop around, fall to the floor, and do all kinds of fancy footwork one would not normally associate with a ballet. The ballet is filled with optimism, and really is something to see, if you have a liking for modern dance. I like to wake up to Aaron Copeland's score. It's so beautiful, and its subtle jubilance makes it easier for me to wake up in the morning.

I took these screen shots from You Tube, because my Mac computer would not let me take pics while the dvd was playing. (lame!). You can watch the whole ballet in four parts on You Tube.

Until next time, enjoy your weekend!

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