Martha to Anna — Varieties and Anxieties of Influence
Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 7 pm EST
A FREE virtual event moderated by Neil Baldwin
Join us for a virtual “meeting of the minds” moderated by Neil Baldwin, author of Martha Graham – When Dance Became Modern (Knopf, October 2022).
Photos: George Platt Lynes (Martha Graham in Spectre-1914), Barbara Morgan (Anna Sokolow in The Exile)
The event will take place over Zoom. You will receive an email with the link and instructions for joining.
About the event
Professor Baldwin proposed holding an evening symposium after seeing our December performance of Frida. As he wrote to ST/DE Artistic Director Samantha Géracht:
Dear Samantha — It came to me while I was watching Christine Dakin take over the stage in FRIDA. I was in the front row — when she came near to me, I felt the Graham presence like a wraith passing through the Anna-Samantha setting.
And when I got home from your Dia de los Muertos presentation I reached for my MARTHA GRAHAM biography and sought Anna references.
“Even if it was a walk, and you made something of it, Martha was sensitive to that,” recalled May O’Donnell of rehearsals for Chorus of Youth – Companions (1932) — “Knowing Anna Sokolow had a passion for raw movement, Martha would say, ‘Let’s do that the way Anna does.’”
From the Neighborhood Playhouse before Heretic (1928-29) — through Rite of Spring, Ceremonials, Tragic Patterns, Celebration, American Lyric (1937) — fifteen Graham dances over almost a decade! — Anna was there, present at the creation and during the core years of Martha Graham the modernist.
I would love to instigate and sit in on an unhurried talk among your group of “Anna Believers” — to ruminate about her legacy coming out of Martha Graham as well as variations, & springboards for movement… …to explore common ground, varieties of influence as well as divergent inspirations, such as:
- AS “I had to show people the truth” – whereas, MG: “movement never lies”
- …Anna says of her dancers – “the more I loved them the more I wanted to make them good” – and to her dancers – “I don’t dislike you; that’s not why I’m hard on you. But I love dance more than I love you.” What kind of “pedagogy” is this? …
- … and Martha Hill says – “Anna is fighting for the outcome of an idea[!!]”
[I am indebted to scholarship and critiques by Jack Anderson, Marjorie Church, Samantha Geracht, Anna Kisselgoff, Hannah Kosstrin, Marcia B. Siegel, and Larry Warren.]
Join us for what promises to be a fascinating dicussion.
For more information on Neil Baldwin, and his newly published Martha Graham: When Dance Became Modern, visit www.neilbaldwinbooks.com.
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Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to help us continue our work. As always, we are grateful for your support and for having the opportunity to join with you—as artists and as audience members—in raising the important questions from which Anna never shied.
Your generous gift will make it possible for us to continue sharing Anna Sokolow’s work, which honors the human experience with composure, strength, intuitiveness, and compassion. Thank you!