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 Post subject: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2001 4:21 am 
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Image <BR><small>Richard Move as Martha Graham<BR>photo by Joseph Astor</small><P>Richard Move combines a loving respect for Martha Graham with devastating wit, a lot of it directed at the male performers. Apart from his own interpretations of Graham's work which can be effective, Move has fine Graham School trained women dancers and good looking beefcake for the male roles. He also uses the programme to showcase local dance talent and we are promised a solo from Mark Morris. <P>Here are the calendar details from the <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/menu.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>Dance Umbrella website</B></A>. Click on the coloured dates for programme information and on the venue name for theatre details.<P>Here is our <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000413.html" TARGET=_blank><B>existing discussion thread</B></A> on Richard Move, including several reviews. <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 22, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2001 6:39 am 
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<B>The Man Who Is Martha Graham</B> <BR>Diva of Dance Became A Life's Obsession. Sarah Kaufman interviews Richard Move in The Washington Post: <P><BR>NEW YORK -- Richard Move remembers watching a film in a college dance history class and being smitten by the sight of a bony little woman with her hair in a big lacquered bun, speaking through thickly painted lips. It was Martha Graham, the diva of modern dance, loopily narrating a 1957 documentary about her work "A Dancer's World."<P>"I was just turned on by this woman who seemed like she was from another planet," says Move, whose fascination with Graham's extreme model of womanhood would later compel him to glue on a pair of false eyelashes, trowel on the lipstick and channel her persona in clubs and concert halls across two continents. <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34344-2001Oct9.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2001 10:49 pm 
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WHO: MARTHA@THECRITERION<BR>WHEN: SUN 4 - MON 5 NOV<BR>WHERE: CRITERION THEATRE<BR>TICKETS: 020 7413 1437<P><B>RICHARD MOVE: EXTREME PERSONALITY</B><P>"Extreme personalities - I'm a magnet for them!" The speaker is Richard Move, the man behind the woman at the centre of Martha@TheCriterion.<P>Since his first Umbrella visit in 1999, the towering New York performer and choreographer has been going great guns, working on projects with the likes of designer Isaac Mizrahi, pop group Blondie, Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project (for whom Move will create their first-ever full-length piece), choreographer Martha Clarke (on a Broadway-bound version of The Blue Angel), post-modern dance/film legend Yvonne Rainer, New York City Ballet (devising a solo about lust for one of their ballerinas), retired pro wrestler The Iron Sheik, and Shirley Bassey. Move brands the latter "a diva underlined, squared, italicised, bold."<P>Divas are something this busy fellow knows well. But better make that diva, since Move's continuing creative obsession is the very singular American modern dance pioneer Martha Graham. She died a decade ago, age 96. Move memorialises her mythic status in a spirit of loving satire only the most knowing devotee could achieve. His performances - dance history as meticulous drag cabaret - began in a closet-sized club in downtown Manhattan. They caught on with press and public, to such an extent that they're now staged at the venerable 1500-seat Town Hall. (Graham herself performed there early in her career, Move says, "so it's full of ghosts.") Plus there's just enough international touring, including an Umbrella return engagement at The Criterion in Piccadilly. "I've only seen photos," Move says. "It looks lovely!'"<P>Issuing deathless utterances with dead-pan drollery, Move embodies his beloved as a giantess of Norma Desmond-like dimensions. His Martha plays hostess-with-the-mostess, introducing a handful of guest artists. At The Criterion there'll be video by Charles Atlas, Sheron Wray performing Graham alumnus Jane Dudley's classic solo Harmonica Breakdown, and a one-night-only spot from Mark Morris (who unhesitatingly crowns Move 'a genius!). Martha will also banter interview-style with Matthew Bourne, and there are rumours of appearances by some Covent Garden types.<P>Furthermore, Graham's dances are beautifully bastardised in truncated, mix-and-match versions choreographed by Move himself. There are over two dozen so far. The Umbrella-bound repertory, Move reveals, includes a Clytemnestra featuring dance students from London's Laban Centre as the Furies. Rob Besserer, whom Move dubs 'one of the greatest dancers on the planet,' will be dancing in a duet as Martha's Erick Hawkins [Graham's husband]. Dancers Deborah Goodman and Blakeley White-McGuire return, along with Umbrella newcomer Katherine Crockett. The latter is no stranger to Graham, having been a stand-out member of the official company on its last visit to the UK in 1999. 'She's to die for!' Move enthuses. The Martha crew will also be doing Mary, Queen of Scots. "I'm just crazy about it," Move says. "It's so dry!"<P>Reflecting upon his current stratospheric work load, Move counts himself lucky. "I'm working with all my heroes - whether they're dead or alive!" The plethora of Martha stage props keeps growing. When I interviewed Move in his apartment two years ago, I remind him, the thing I remember best is the cat litter tray propped up in what looked like a giant, Noguchi-inspired pelvic bone. Laughing, he explains, "Whatever can't be put into storage gets integrated into the apartment's decor." As a feature-length Martha film approaches its final sound mix, Move keeps tabs on the beleaguered fortunes of the official Graham company and its court case against artistic director Ron Protas. He's hopeful that the eventual outcome will facilitate the troupe's phoenix-like resurrection.<P>In the meantime, his Martha keeps the Graham flame burning bright. "It's hard for me to take any credit for that," says Move. "It's too pompous. This is some strange and elaborate character study I do, but the world really needs to see her original dances intact." He will, however, admit, "There are people who really know her work and appreciate what I do, but also people who have a vague - or no - idea of who she is. They come and learn and are turned on by her, and then they wanna know more." In Move's own estimation, that dual appeal is one of the beauties of his show.<P><BR><P>------------------<BR>This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera.<P>Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.<P>This interview first appeared in either the Spring or Autumn 2001 editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR> <BR>Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR>Call: 020 8741 5881 <BR>Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk <BR>Web: <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.danceumbrella.co.uk</A>

_________________
This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2001 11:27 pm 
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<B>It's such a drag being an icon</B><BR>The dance legend Martha Graham lives on... in a slightly taller body <BR>BY JENNY GILBERT in The Independent on Sunday<P><BR>Had he decided to be a jobbing contemporary dancer like his student dance programme colleagues, Richard Move - despite the Happy Families surname - is unlikely to have attracted attention. But as it turns out, his unorthodox career choice has won him some very high-profile fans. Merce Cunningham has been a regular at his New York performances. Mikhail Baryshnikov too. Mark Morris has hailed him "a genius". Why? Because when Richard Move dons a Halston gown and lipstick, cranks his voice up half an octave and adopts a certain terrifying glare, these major-league movers and shakers delightedly quake in their shoes. <P>For the 90 or so minutes of Move's cabaret of which he is both MC and star, he eerily inhabits the skin of the late great Martha Graham: epicentre of the modernist movement in 20th-century American art, arch glamour-feminist, godmother of contemporary dance. Never mind that Graham was five foot nothing and Move is six foot four. <P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=011104002834&query=dance" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2001 5:57 am 
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“Martha”, at the Criterion last night, was great fun, a humorous dig at the world of modern dance and Martha Graham’s contribution to it. The very imposing Richard Move impersonated Ms Graham and presented a regal figure with a great awareness of her own importance. Was this an accurate account of Martha Graham? It may have been, I have to confess that I know little about the personality of Ms Graham despite having grappled with the Graham technique for some time (and losing).<P>Move tells us much about her thoughts and aspirations through a blend of humour and high camp illustrated with extracts from some of Graham’s most famous works together with a small group of dancers sharing the joke with much obvious enjoyment.<P>Among the special guests last night was Sheron Wrey dancing the Jane Dudley solo, Harmonica Breakdown. A hugely enjoyable piece extremely well performed. Robert Hylton danced a solo choreographed by himself entitled “A Step into Urban Classicism” to a piece of music called “Class Struggle in Music II” – nice title that! <P>In the second half of the programme, Martha displayed her interviewing skills by interrogating Matthew Bourne. Her interviewing technique is clearly inspired by that of Edna Everidge who used to enjoy belittling her interviewees at every opportunity. Bourne confessed to having had difficulty with the Graham classes he had attended and that his back hadn’t been the same since. He clearly shocked Martha when he confided that his future plans included work with Disney. “DISNEY?!” Martha was not amused.<P>The final guest on the programme was Zenaida Yanowsky of the Royal Ballet dancing a solo called Nisi Dominus by William Tuckett to music from Monteverdi’s Vespers. There are certain pieces of music that are perfect on their own without the addition of dance and this was one of them.<P>This is a very unusual show, as the modern dance world has never been noted for its sense of humour, yet Richard Move is extremely funny and clearly knows all there is to know about his subject. Most importantly the audience has a very good time. Martha appears on two nights only, and the performance tonight includes a work by Mark Morris.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2001 1:33 pm 
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Oh good! I'm so excited, he's coming here in January! I can't wait!<P>------------------<BR>The dignity of dance lies in the most noble of instruments, the living bodies of men and women.<BR>~Mary Wigman~<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2001 12:44 am 
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A review in The Independent<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Richard Move stands in a shiny oriental robe, scarlet lipstick and an opulent cottage-loaf chignon. He is, in all probability, a man, as well as American. He is over six feet tall but nobody's perfect. If he wants to impersonate the late, fragile Martha Graham, then why shouldn't he? The woman who single-handedly invented American modern dance is a ripe target for drag queens. She was celebrated for her epic persona, her lofty pronouncements and her devotional pursuit of her art.<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/reviews/story.jsp?story=103336" TARGET=_blank> <B> <BR>MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2001 12:55 am 
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Many thanks Cassandra for your review. I remember enjoying the 'Martha/Move' experience a couple of years ago. Sheron Wray's performance of 'Harmonica Breakdown' is always a treat. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 06, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2001 4:35 am 
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More reviews of a great evening:<P><B>Judith Mackrell of the Guardian</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The late Martha Graham trod the finest line between genius and excess, sublimity and self-parody. It was a line of which she was grandly unaware, but that Richard Move, her impersonator and "reincarnated spirit", treads with reverential glee. This is the second time that Move has presented his Martha-dedicated cabaret in London, and it's even better than last time around. <BR>Familiarity doesn't lessen the pleasure of Move's wickedly accurate re-creation of Graham's egregious style. Though he is over a foot taller than his model, and male, he captures some genuine spark of the late choreographer's essence in his loving imitations of her diva make-up, her overweening stage charisma and the spooky, solipsistic tropes of her speaking voice. As he reads from her notebooks (sometimes rewriting her lines) and introduces extracts from her dances, reminders of Graham's giant transforming vision can move us to respectful silence. But in a split second Move can reduce his audience to hysterics, pinpointing the moment when her greatness slips into the ludicrous: "I stand before you in sweet terror, divine turbulence . . . " <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,589077,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited November 07, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2001 10:30 am 
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Richard Move’s parody of Martha Graham is quite brilliant. For one thing, I learned a great about the life and work of Ms Graham. Although a cabaret act in terms of one-liners and jokes, Move’s lyrical dancing of Graham’s works clearly demonstrates his admiration for both the dancer and the woman. Move is in drag, essentially, but as you are drawn into Ms Graham’s world, mesmerised and hypnotised by the soft American purr with which she delivers her story, you forget that Graham is not Graham and is, in fact, a man. Even Move’s body takes on a soft feminine line – creation by suggestion. For me, the reminder that Graham is in fact Move, came from watching the feet in repose, just visible under the swathes of bias-cut chiffon. Since I was in the front row and looking up slightly, I was probably one of the few to notice.<P>Ms Graham delivers her story, professional and personal, occasionally reading from a large notebook containing details of her technique, demonstrated by Katherine Crockett, who, having studied at the Martha Graham School and danced as principal in the Martha Graham Dance Company, is perfectly expert at satirising the technique: to be able to parody Ms Graham in a way that is amusing and digestible for the audience, we have to be confident that the dancer has the credentials to do. <P>The intimacy and cosiness of the small Criterion Theatre is perfect for work of this nature. You have to feel part of the action. Graham tells us that a woman was able to finally cry and lament the death of her child (which she had witnessed), after seeing Graham dance which prompts the dancer to remember that performers are dancing, or speaking, in the broad sense of that word, to one person in the audience – at least one person, and every individual person receives their own personal interpretation of the work. I certainly felt that way – I was quite unaware of the audience around me because I was caught on every word of the near Eartha Kitt purr. I suppose I will never know for sure if Ingrid Bergman really took private lessons from Ms Kitt or whether Liza Minelli really told autograph hunters at the Royal Opera House Stage Door to ask for Ms Graham’s autograph. But that doesn’t matter.<P>Sheron Wray was introduced as a special guest, dancing “Harmonica Breakdown” choreographed by one of Graham’s pupils, Jane Dudley. This is always an emotional experience for Sheron Wray as Ms Dudley was official patron to her company, JazzXchange, and private inspiration to her for many years. It was all the more so on this occasion as Ms Dudley died earlier this year. Sheron’s performance of this work was, as usual, sublimely musical and well-received by the audience.<P>Matthew Bourne was interviewed on stage. Actually he was interrogated in a way that made us chuckle heartily. Ms Graham craves recognition and attention, constantly bringing the conversation back to herself. (I learned a great deal about Bourne too.) It is a friendly poke at the inevitable ego produced by acquiring demigod status. <P>The final special guest was Mark Morris, performing “From Old Seville” with two of his regular dancers, Lauren Grant and John Heginbotham. Heginbotham drags on a large cigar and devours a bottle of red wine but never dances. Morris, who drinks with him, feels obliged to tear himself away from the red wine and dance a strenuous flamenco with Grant, which he does expertly (he learned flamenco as a young man and spent a year in Spain), before returning repeatedly to down the rest of the glass. It is a highly entertaining cameo sketch of a man torn away from what he really wants to do – drink- and completely in tune with the cabaret-style evening.<P>I was lucky enough to join Sheron Wray at dinner after the performance where I saw Move without his make up. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, trying to detect signs of him growing to look like Graham. None apparent as yet. <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited November 08, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:44 am 
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Review in the Sunday Telegraph, (Please scroll down the article)<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> In his emphatic make-up, flowing robes and hair like a well-lacquered mushroom cloud, Richard Move is Martha Graham, or if he isn't, I'm not going to be the one to tell him. Martha@TheCriterion was the latest in a series of lightly barbed tributes, beginning in 1996, to a woman who was not so much the mother as the Mommie Dearest of modern dance. Move's status as the dance world's Dame Edna was most obvious in an interview with Matthew Bourne, when his "Martha" kept insisting: "Please, talk about me." <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/11/11/sticuldnc02001.html?" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Move - Martha@Criterion
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2001 12:03 am 
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Review in the Times (please scroll down to see it)<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Richard Move has made his name impersonating the late Martha Graham, a woman ripe for parody. With her grand dramatics, imperious stature and epic emoting, the high priestess of modern dance was always just this side of camp. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001391804,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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