Appalachian Spring Ballet - Martha Graham - Aaron Copland - Merce Cunningham





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Published on May 21, 2010

In 1944, Martha Graham's ballet was filmed in 16mm with the original cast, as a reference tool. Unfortunately, it was shot without sound, and as far as I know no one has attempted to add the score back.

I took the music from the 1958 film included on the 2007 Criterion DVD:


...and tried to match it as closely as I could to the 1944 version. This is all the footage that was included, in bits and pieces, on the DVD.

Bride: Martha Graham (in black)
Husband: Erick Hawkins
Pioneer Woman: May O'Donnell
Revivalist: Merce Cunningham
Followers: Nina Fonaroff, Pearl Lang, Marjorie Mazia, Yuriko

"In 1926, Martha Graham formed the Martha Graham Dance Company, which was founded on the principles of dance as inner expression. Therefore, she did not aspire for movement to be beautiful, as much of classical ballet demanded, but rather that it be significant. Many of her works dealt with explicitly sexual or violent themes, and Graham also worked extensively with the techniques of contraction and release.

She often created works entirely from the roots upwards, including the costumes, music and choreography. She collaborated with and/or taught the foremost artists and dancers of her time, including dancers Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharpe, and Merce Cunningham, composer Aaron Copland, and sculptor Isamu Noguchi."

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