(image taken from NKFU)
Today is the one hundred-seventeenth birthday of pioneering contemporary dancer and choreographer Martha Graham; apparently, particularly early in her influential, powerful, enduring career, she had an intense disdain for any documentation of her dances, whether film or still photography, believing that the moment should live and die on the stage. Thankfully, her beliefs evolved slowly, and some evidence and hints to the movement and costumes of her work can be discovered and enjoyed today. I wish I could see one of her performances live, in the flesh, but perhaps I can settle for, and be visually satisfied with, a re-interpretation with new contemporary dancers. It is strange, but my recent cultural exposure has been fueling a growing fury and fascination with the aesthetics movement of the early twentieth century, across a variety of media: Igor Stravinsky, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Edmund Dulac, Aubrey Beardsley, William Butler Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald. A vain, vicarious reach to a different, foreign, though ultimately continually pervasive, cultural, political, and socioeconomic milieu.