Page 189

drawback of her late start in dancing. The way would be fraught with pain, and the price she would pay for her need to express her creative compulsions through her own body would almost cost her her life” (101). “Deep Song, premiered in 1937, pointed prophetically to change. The following year would be transitional, experimental. A more theatrical use of source material, settings, accompaniment, and costumes would establish a new choreographic formula, expandable yet unique; and the ensuing years would produce works that would justifiably contribute to the emergence of large-scale concepts to be known as ‘the theatre of Martha Graham’” (101). This was a really important time for her. You have some questions here about the music. When Martha decided that she was going to reconstruct Deep Song, we had very little to go off. It was 1988 when we started. Martha had not done a solo since the early forties, maybe, and there was no video record of it. We only had photographs from Barbara Morgan’s archives and there were about 100 photographs. The original music was not found; it was a Henry Cowell score. We started working with “Sinister Resonance,” and it was plucked piano strings. Martha decided to repeat the same music twice in the ballet when we reconstructed it. As with any reconstruction, it is not a literal reconstruction, because it is a different time, it’s on a different body, so in a lot of ways, it is a recreation. It is recreating the solo, but it’s not a direct reconstruction of the exact thing that was done in 1937. With the photographs, it gave us the opportunity to work in such a way that I was able to bring information into the studio, having gone into the studio alone for many, many hours. In the old Graham studio there were three studios, so I would go up to the third floor studio and spend many hours just being by myself and trying to get an essence of what this ballet would be. Knowing Martha’s vocabulary, having danced in a lot of the work from that period of time, and knowing what Martha was working for, I had to come to some kind of understanding about what was happening at that time. As with anything in Graham’s theatre, there are many resources to research, to try and get into the

189

Esferas—Issue Two  

Esferas is an undergraduate student and alumni initiative from New York University’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese. We are a peer-re...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you