Tag: Martha Graham

The Movement Philosophy of Martha Graham

Martha Graham  pic
Martha Graham
Image: marthagraham.org

At the Linda Jamieson School of Dance, pre-professional students have the opportunity to learn contemporary technique. Contemporary dance training at the Linda Jamieson School of Dance begins at the grade two level and focuses on the styles of Martha Graham and Jose Limon.

Known as one of the founders of modern dance, Martha Graham developed an innovative technique that changed the rules of performance. She conceptualized dance as a way of translating the human experience into movement. Focused on examining and illuminating inner life, she created choreography that made the emotions manifest and infused every movement with meaning.

Martha Graham believed that technique and form allow the dancer to achieve the fullest possible range of expression. She taught her dancers to contract and release, which served as a representation of such inner conflicts as weakness versus strength and fear versus bravery. She envisioned the pelvis as the stable point in the body and the initiation point of movement, and she taught articulations and spirals with this concept in mind.

Ms. Graham emphasized full exploration of space and use of the floor. Falls became ventures into the unknown, as well as explorations of submitting to and battling against gravity, while work on the floor became a way of drawing energy from the environment.

Even today, the work of Martha Graham informs and supports the modern and contemporary dancer. Technique intersects with expression to create symbolic representations of life in the world, and the technique remains as relevant as it ever was.

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