MARTHA GRAHAM: ATHLETE OF GOD

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

Recently I watched a 24-minute documentary short, directed by Sofia Coppola, on the post-COVID return of the NYC Ballet to its home at the David H. Koch Theater.

Principal Gonzalo Garcia dances alone in a studio to a Chopin solo. Backstage, Ashley Bouder and Russell Janzen glide through Balanchine’s “Duo Concertant.” In the theater’s promenade, Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour dance an excerpt from Balanchine’s “Liebeslieder Walzer.” Anthony Huxley, alone on stage, introduces a new “Solo” by the company’s resident choreographer and artistic adviser Justin Peck.

With the finale, Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15”, several members of the corps reassemble, the film goes from black-and-white to color, and the return home is complete.

The film was rapturously reviewed by NYT dance critic Gia Kourlas. And who isn’t thrilled at the thought of once again seeing ballet in the flesh?

And yet, somehow, the footage left me a teeny bit cold. I admired, and rejoiced, but until the finale, I wasn’t moved. I didn’t feel an intelligent, unifying force.

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

4 Replies to “MARTHA GRAHAM: ATHLETE OF GOD”

  1. So beautifully written, dear Heather! Tuscon is good for you!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Thank you, dear Glenda. I think it’ll be good for me, too, in ways I can’t yet grasp…I’m so grateful to be able to share and receive a bit with you faithful readers…best to you in your own midst-of-nature home…

  2. Good morning! Loved your piece. I danced until my feet said “no more” which brought about sadness mixed with reality. This gave me food for thought about how I so loved all aspects of dance – the music, the meditative discipline to listen, follow, and love.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      I’m not a dancer myself but I am kind of obsessed with ballet and ballet dancers…There’s a 2005 documentary, Ballets Russes. Dancers who were then in their 70s, 89s and 90s…some of them still teaching or even dancing…juxtaposed with footage of when they were in their prime…just beautiful…

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