Review Of "Martha, The Life And Work Of Martha Graham" By A. De Mille

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Agnes De Mille is an important American choreographer in both ballet (works such as Rodeo and Fall River Legend) and on the Broadway stage (Oklahoma and Brigadoon), and is the author of 12 previous books on dance. In this work she presents a private view of her friend and sometime heroine Martha Graham, one of the pioneers of American modern dance. Written in a conversational style and supported by quotes from Graham company members, dance critics, patrons of Graham's work, and by De Mille's own recollections, this work reflects De Mille's considerable experience as both a creator and an observer of concert dance. It is an intimate portrait, one which places greatest emphasis on Graham's early years as an independent artist and on exploring how her relationships with lovers, advisers, and patrons shaped her mature choreogaphy. De Mille is clear in acknowledging both her regard for Graham as a genius and her biases concerning various individuals and dance works. The book was written over a period of 25 years and joins earlier works by Merle Armitage (1937) and Don McDonagh (1973) and Graham's own posthumously published autobiography, Blood Memory (1991), as a guide to understanding this significant American choreographer and her career. There are some 50 well-chosen black-and-white photos, a chronicle of Graham's works, brief biographies of others who figure prominently in the book, notes, and a selected bibliography. Useful to scholars and students in the field, this work is also suitable for the general reader.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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