Martha Graham Night Journey Essay

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In this paper I’ll be looking at Martha Graham and her piece ‘Night Journey’; how Gender and Class reflect off it, not only through movement but through body gestures, costume and set. I will be exploring these features through ‘Night Journey’, comparing it to another of her dance pieces ‘Errand into The Maze’ and then incorporating the work of Pina Bausch in relation to the female body. Graham is an American modern dancer born in 1894, she began her studies in 1910 at the Denishaw School of Dancing and Related Arts. She is well known as the Mother of Modern Dance, she danced for seventy years in total and was the first dancer to perform at The White House. She focussed a lot of her dance work on expressionism, a form of movement which allows the human body to show feelings and emotions. She began work with expressionism when forming her group ‘Martha Graham Dance Company’ of which revolved around contemporary, social, psychological, political and sexual context. ‘Night Journey’ is a piece which Graham put together based on the play ‘Oedipus Rex’ by Sophocles, this goes back 429 BC when it was first performed. It’s a play about King called Oedipus and his Queen Jocasta; Oedipus gets accused of killing the former King, his…show more content…
When you’re performing a narrative piece of theatre, putting script and stage direction together you’re practically spoon feeding your audience the story. Dance gives the audience the opportunity to understand your piece through what they see. Instead of explaining what upset’s when you cry during a play, in dance you’re challenging your body to do that for you. You let the movements take over the characteristics of who you are within your dance piece, in a way that can cease the audience and have an impact on them. ‘Oedipus Rex’ is such a sentimental piece of theatre. Graham has taken all the emotion and expression from it, and created this intense, powerful piece of

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