Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Martha Graham Illuminates the Ups and Downs

Actually Martha Graham illuminated the agonizing tension between forward and back, analogous in many ways to the musical rise and fall.  She had a characteristic gesture of the arms and face yearning to move forward while the solar plexus pulled in the opposite direction, making a graphic body image of the soul torn between outward and inward movement.

I think of this often, as one needs to know absolutely nothing about dance or movement or the body to grasp the power of the gesture.

The 19th century seemed to recognize only one direction, up.  Onward and upward was the battle cry.  Progress!  Valhalla!  Arrival!  Manifest Destiny!

Have we recovered yet?