Erin @ 'The Martha Graham Dance Company' - I lost all sense of time with this one
What’s it about?
The Martha Graham Dance Company’s latest performance, showcasing some of her pieces about women, and introducing new pieces choreographed by women.
I think I finally have been able to pinpoint what I love about modern dance. That’s right — it’s the abundance of bouncy men in large pants.
If that’s not art, I don’t know what is. But besides the bouncy men, of which there were many, Martha Graham’s work remains as relevant as ever, especially when paired with premieres of other pieces choreographed by women. Maybe there’s just something thought-provoking about a flexed foot, but The EVE Project proved that modern dance is an optimal way to get a message across.
Each performance had a different lineup of repertoire by the company. My program started off with Errand Into the Maze, which is a retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus, who goes into a deep labyrinth in order to fight a Minotaur. (Let’s please pretend that I will not be kept awake in shame because of how long it took me to spell labyrinth properly.) Instead of Theseus, Graham has a woman wandering through the labyrinth of her mind, fighting her deepest fear, which happens to be a bouncy Minotaur man. I don’t know how Martha Graham knew all the way back in 1947 that my deepest fear would be accurately personified by a bouncy, VERY strong, mostly nude man with horns, but she really nailed it. Lots of vaginal imagery in this one — it’s a lot of fun!
Following that trip of a piece was the world premiere of Deo, inspired by the myths of Persephone, the goddess of the underworld who was kidnapped by Hades, and her mother Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility. This was an incredibly powerful piece with an ensemble of some of the most spectacular women I have ever seen in my life. Aside from me wondering if the choreographers created this piece with the sole intention of making me more queer, I lost all sense of time with this one.
And then we had the bounciest, wide-legged pants-iest dance of the whole show! Untitled (Souvenir) (which seems like a title to me) is a piece I cannot explain to you… because I have absolutely ZERO clue what it was about. I couldn’t tell on stage, and I couldn’t tell from the little blurb in the program because there wasn’t one!! While it made no sense to me, it was bouncy and that’s all that really matters.
While the final piece was technically called Chronicle, I think it should really be called Does Erin Deserve Legs? The answer is no, by the way. After seeing this piece — which was my favorite in the whole show — I decided that I do not deserve legs because mine cannot do what those women’s did on stage. The piece was a reaction to World War II, specifically the rise of fascism in Europe, broken up into three parts. I characterize them as Part 1: A Big Skirt With A SMALLER SKIRT Underneath; Part 2: Martha Graham Sure Does Know How to Put on a Good War and Part 3: Reactionary Fascist Ballerinas Make Me Feel More Than Any War Movie Will Ever.
While there are much more educated ways to analyze dance, I’m gonna stick with hating my legs and encouraging everyone to go see The EVE Project. Even if you don’t think modern dance is your thing, where else are you going to get to see a plethora of bouncy men in big pants?
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.