Authors & Events
Oct 11, 2022
| ISBN 9780385352321
Oct 11, 2022
| ISBN 9780385352338
Oct 11, 2022
| 900 Minutes
Oct 11, 2022 | ISBN 9780385352321
Oct 11, 2022 | ISBN 9780385352338
Oct 11, 2022 | ISBN 9780593627921
A major biography—the first in three decades—of one of the most important artistic forces of the 20th century, the legendary American dancer and choreographer who upended dance, propelling the art form into the modern age, and whose profound and pioneering influence is still being felt today.Time Magazine called her “the Dancer of the Century.” Her technique, used by dance companies throughout the world, became the first long-lasting alternative to the idiom of classical ballet. Her pioneering movements—powerful, dynamic, jagged, edgy, forthright—combined with her distinctive system of training, were the epitome of American modernism, performance as art. Her work continued to astonish and inspire for more than 60 years as she choreographed more than 180 works. At the heart of Graham’s work: movement that could express inner feeling. Neil Baldwin, author of admired biographies of Man Ray (“Truly definitive . . . absolutely fascinating” –Patricia Bosworth), and Thomas Edison (“Absorbing, gripping, a major contribution to our understanding of a remarkable man and a remarkable era” –Robert Caro), gives us the artist and performer, the dance monument who led a cult of dance worshippers as well as the woman herself in all of her complexity. Here is Graham, from her 19th-century (born in 1894) Allegheny, Pennsylvania childhood, to becoming the star of the Denishawn exotic ballets, and in 1926, at age 32, founding her own company (now the longest-running dance company in America). Baldwin writes of how the company flourished during the artistic explosion of New York City’s midcentury cultural scene; of Erick Hawkins, in 1936, fresh from Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, a handsome Midwesterner fourteen years her junior, becoming Graham’s muse, lover, and eventual spouse. Their passionate, tempestuous marriage lasting six years, transformed into art through the dances she choreographed on and for him, the marriage ending in divorce in 1954 with Graham never marrying again. Graham, inspiring the next generation of modern dancers, choreographers and teachers, among them: Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor. Baldwin tells the story of this large, fiercely lived life—filled with fire and inspiration, drive, passion and sacrifice in work and dance creation, a life beset by conflict, competition and loneliness.
NEIL BALDWIN is the critically acclaimed author of biographies of William Carlos Williams, Man Ray, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford. He is Emeritus Professor of Theatre & Dance at Montclair State University.
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