Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Visions and Legacies

There was a time when I drew a lot of dancers.

I spent about two years of that period in the studio with the Martha Graham Dance Company as they sought to emerge from a crippling series of lawsuits and work stoppages that characterized the decade following Graham's death. It was a thrilling time for me--I met a lot of great people and I was exposed to an amazing vocabulary of movement and concepts that inform my work to this day.

A lot of friends have been sending me the link to today's Google masthead which celebrates what would be Graham's 117th birthday with an elegant, simple and simply terrific animation by Ryan Woodward. I love it. (Also--if you haven't seen it--you should check out Woodward's animation to a song by the Weepies--a band that has a completely different video, Red Red Rose, that debuted this week in which--coincidentally--I and my work have supporting roles.)

The image that accompanies this post is a montage of some of my Graham drawings that I put together a few years back for a show at the Fall Cafe.

I don't draw dancers as much as I used to; the Graham Company today is different from the company I worked with; The Fall Cafe is in its final days. The life of an artist is like the life of anybody--we live out our days by negotiating our way through successes and failures. We do the best we can. Martha Graham created an entire art-form in her dogged insistence on pursuing an idiosyncratic vision of what dance could be despite an entire universe of resistance. Martha did alright; Martha changed the world.

I salute her on this, the anniversary of her birth. She remains an inspiring figure.


Blogger Rachel Carina said...

love this, and I thought it was awesome to see a dancer recognized on Google's home page. You are so lucky to have had the opportunity to see first-hand the martha-graham company!

10:02 PM  

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