Ballet for Martha
Making Appalachian SpringBook - 2010
A picture book about the making of Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring, her most famous dance performance
Martha Graham : trailblazing choreographer
Aaron Copland : distinguished American composer
Isamu Noguchi : artist, sculptor, craftsman
Award-winning authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan tell the story behind the scenes of the collaboration that created APPALACHIAN SPRING, from its inception through the score's composition to Martha's intense rehearsal process. The authors' collaborator is two-time Sibert Honor winner Brian Floca, whose vivid watercolors bring both the process and the performance to life.
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“Sometimes art is made by one artist, working alone, but sometimes it is the result of artists working together – collaborating – to forge something new.” New was not an unfamiliar word to dancer Martha Graham. She spent a great deal of her life exploring new types of dance in the mid-20th century. And when she wanted to make a dance about American living, she turned to composer Aaron Copland. With much revision to her vision, Copland wrote for Martha music based on the old Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts”. After that, Isamu Noguchi was hired to create the spare sets for the production. The show was called “Appalachian Spring” and it has since become an American classic. The kind that can be recreated and reenacted forever, all because three different people got together to make a ballet that displayed their best works. A “Curtain Call” afterword says more about the lives of each of the three artists and a Notes and Sources section includes a Bibliography, Web Sites, and additional Notes.
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