“A guy needs somebody―to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.”
― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
This fictional diary entry is written from the perspective of ‘Crooks’ the only black man on the ranch. He is named Crooks because his back is bent after an accident where he was kicked by a horse. …
Merce Cunningham’s choreographic concept relied on neither design nor music, instead, he believed that all art forms could exist independently of each other yet occupy the same space (Copeland and Cohen, 1983, 232).
Cunningham thought, however, that music and dance did have a common factor, ‘Time’, for they could cohabit the same space, at the same time. Therefore, his philosophy was that none of these arts needs the other for inspiration and frequently meet for the first time in the performance.
Cunningham originally started his training with Bonnie Bird, from the ‘Graham Company’ at the Cornish School in Seattle. In 1939 he joined the Graham Company in New York. Martha Graham’s approach was ‘Expressionist,’ she believed in connecting to her inner landscape, therefore making her work emotive. She believed that dance should convey emotion but there need not be a reason for it, (Dempster in Carter, 1998, 223–226). …
An angel visited me in my sleep, she told me I had to stop fighting with my Mum, life was short and we should love instead.
That angel was my dear departed Grandmother when she died I was scared to go to bed in case she ‘visited’ me, Mum would stroke my head and tell me that if Gran came to visit it would be because she loved me and wanted to see me, the thought terrified me, I don’t think I fully understood death.
Some years later Mum and I fell out, we fell out big-time, what ensued was argument after horrific argument, we couldn’t find the same page, we were at battle. Mum worked long hours and couldn’t cope with teenage me, my sister liked to cause trouble, I was defiant and stubborn, I guess we were too alike. …
I felt a deep social sense about what I wanted to express, and the things that affected me deeply personally [are] what I did, and commented on. — Anna Sokolow, Choreographer, prod. and dir.
Sokolow’s early works focused on appealing to her audience’s social and political conscience and later dealt with themes of alienation and isolation. Seeing dance as an opportunity to change thinking in society, Sokolow often took a revolutionary approach inspired by current events.
Worried about the depression in the States and synchronically the rising danger of fascism, Sokolow believed that by performing the social, economic, and political crises around her, the audience members may be inspired to help resolve the contemporary issues conveyed. …
I used to want the words ‘She tried’ on my tombstone. Now I want ‘She did it.’ — Katherine Dunham
Katherine Dunham passed away in May 2006 at the age of 96 and quite rightly ‘did it’ for black dancers of the day, who deserved equal dignity and respect and should not be confined to ‘shake’ and ‘tap’ dance.
A truly inspirational dancer reaching the height of her career through the 1940s to the 50s Katherine Dunham was dubbed the matriarch and queen mother of black dance. …
Recognition was a solo performance with a text by Fiona Templeton and developed in collaboration with the late Michael Ratomski, who also appeared on videotape. Michael originally also performed in the work; he died before it was finished.
From the 1960’s movements within video, performance and installation brought about the emergence of ‘Video Art’. This genre sought to explore the relationship between the ‘virtual’ and ‘real’ time of its performance as well as the space that performance occurred in. This in turn shaped the future of multi-media practices within art and the interplay of the live, recorded, music, sculpture, and performance and how the meeting of these can be reversed and interchanged according to their transmission. …
Cue — lights, music, curtain up and cartwheel on from the wings, that was our on-stage entrance. Wait a minute, cartwheel on from the wings, what could possibly go wrong?
Answer — everything!
At the grand old age of fifteen, it was the last chance saloon for me to finally achieve my dream of being a senior student dancer in our local pantomime. Having been unsuccessful so far at every audition, my Mum (my number one fan) didn't even bother coming with me this time around. Instead, I went with a friend.
To my utter elation this time I was successful, I had achieved my dream! I was cast as a dancer in our local production of the Wizard of Oz. My friend wasn't as happy, she didn't get cast, we no longer speak now 39 years later but that is another story! …
In the 21st Century, Western society is obsessed with perfection, materialism, and political correctness. Our culture dictates ‘Inclusion for all’ meaning that each person has the identical right to work, education, and a decent standard of living which of course we would all agree is fair and right.
However, in a civilisation where flawlessness is constantly sought loneliness and isolation become more prevalent and in turn, juxtapose the iconic ideal.
There are many psychoanalytic theories that deal with social development; Sigmund Freud (an Austrian neurologist) believed that both the conscious and unconscious governs behaviour and that the personality develops strategies for dealing with anxiety, for example, denial or repression. …
In 1934 three former members of the Martha Graham Company, Jane Dudley, Sophie Maslow, and Anna Sokolow joined the ‘New Dance Group’, they aimed to make dance accessible for all through low tuition fees and dance works based on socio-political concern. (Au, 2002, 128–130)
Initially, the school gave classes in the Holm and Wigman technique and by 1940 also included the Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey techniques, as well as ballet, composition, ethnic and modern dance classes. Later Merce Cunningham and Lester Horton’s techniques were added to the curriculum which can be still seen to the present day.
In the early 20th Century the themes addressed were often anti-war, anti-racism, or anti-fascism, emerging at the time of War and repression on those who failed to conform, they dealt with contemporary issues that sought to bring about change in thought and opinion. …
It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don’t agree. The wounds remain. Time — the mind, protecting its sanity — covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone.
Drawers opening, closing………..opening. Everything in order, just right……..each has its place. Everything in order.
Things said, always things said…not always right…..shouldn’t always be said. Things known….maybe….definitely, things that shouldn’t be known. Why? But why?
Always question………why the things were said…………..the things were known.
At the time…….listened, just listened……..wondered. Didn’t want to know but some sick curiosity kept pushing to the forefront. Pushing……….pushing…..pushing..pushing. …