Friday, March 14, 2008

YA Review: "Martha Graham: a dancer's life" by Russell Freedman (rated 5 stars)

by Russell Freedman

“This is my letter to the World/That never wrote to Me.” – Emily Dickinson from Martha Graham’s “Letter To the World”

I have written about Martha Graham before in another blog I have and I have to say she is one of the most amazing artists I have ever been lucky enough to learn about in American Studies at UCSC. My professor, John Dizikes, would show different clips of her dances, one of them was “Medea.” Ever since than I have been intrigued by her.

Russell Freedman writes a warm glowing biography of her life. In 175 pages, he takes the reader on a journey from when Graham first started dancing to her rise to fame to her heartbreak and then her painful retirement. She was and is a dancer and that was all she loved. She seems to have sacrificed a lot of her personal life for her art and in that she created her own movement.

It is a wonderful biography filled with photographs and commentaries from her dancers and friends. If you do not know about her, this is an excellent place to start. Freedman weaves between the dances she created and Graham’s personal life so you can see how her personal and professional are all intertwined. Highly recommended.

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