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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Appalachian Spring


Martha Graham Dance Company Online / New York / Stage

Recently discovered in the archives: from 1947, a complete film of Martha Graham’s 1944 masterpiece of ancestral America, Appalachian Spring—with its original cast! What makes this exciting is that it gives us Graham as the young Bride just three years after the dance’s premiere. The film most of us have seen dates to 1958, when time was telling on her technique, and many of the original cast members had moved on. But here they all are, Graham still in her dancing prime, the rough-hewn Erick Hawkins as the Husbandman, the ferocious Merce Cunningham as the Revivalist, May O’Donnell as the Pioneering Woman, and Yuriko, Pearl Lang, Marjorie Mazia, and Nina Fonaroff as the giddily religious four Followers. Set in rural Pennsylvania in the mid 1800s, this inspired collaboration between Aaron Copland, Isamu Noguchi, and Graham is earthbound and transcendent. The film is on view Saturday, April 18, at two-thirty P.M., and will be accessible afterwards on the company’s YouTube channel, along with the live-chats that occurred during the broadcast. Very very special. —L.J.

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