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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2001 1:38 pm 
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If someone was about to commit suicide, and they were sure that they wanted to die, had a license for the gun, etc., would you not stop them? You have only one argument to stand on, which is that this is what Martha wanted. That may hold up in court, but not in many people's hearts. Isn't it possible she made a mistake? Geniuses do sometimes, you know.<P>Our reactions here are emotional. This is about art. And these are our opinions. We are under no obligation to speak without biases, though I am glad the Times is dutifully fulfilling that important role. It must be difficult.<P>You seem to have some biases of your own, which I respect.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 1:49 pm 
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Suzannah = Protas or Russo, not sure which. Transparently clever.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 4:05 pm 
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tmdell, welcome back. I assume that your, err, accusation is backed up by your intimate knowledge and association with the parties involved. I will have to defer to your judgement in this case, as someone who was involved with the Graham company at a very high level.<P>However, I would like for all of us to proceed with this debate on a still passionate but thoughtful manner.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 4:39 pm 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
I've been impressed with how calm and respectful this thread has been for the most part, especially considering the intensity of people's feelings. I hope we can maintain that.<P>tmdell, welcome back.<P>Suzannah (and other relatively new members), a belated "Welcome to CriticalDance".<p>[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited April 06, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 6:10 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Let's remember folks, what we post here is not going to change the outcome of the legal case. All we're doing is exchanging ideas and points of view. Let's do so with respect, and, bottom line, "disagree without being disagreeable".


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 9:24 pm 
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This is my first time responding to the site but have been reading for a while and am interested in what I have been reading about the debate concerning the Martha Graham situation. Do you really think Graham made a mistake in choosing Protas as her heir? From the information I have read, it appears Graham and Protas were very close and that she not only trusted him as her closest friend and colleague, she chose him to carry on her life's work.<P>Does anyone know if the court trial is over? How are things going?


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 9:48 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Welcome, Timothy C. That's a good question you ask. As you can see from this and the previous discussion threads, there is some debate as to Martha Graham's wisdom in her choice of men. Almost every writer I've read has claimed that she let these men influence her decisions.

However, I keep going back to Joan Acocella's article, because one of her theories is so intriguing. What if Graham was indeed not interested in preserving her works and gave them to Protas knowing that the legacy wouldn't last in his hands, but long enough to repay his kindness?

<font size = -2><center>(Edited by salzberg to fix link)</center></font>

<small>[ 08-11-2002, 09:22: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2001 7:38 am 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Azlan, I'm curious, when you say that Martha Graham did not make wise choices regarding "men" what does that mean? Do you mean in her personal relationships or business relationships? And if it is with regard to personal relationships what merit does that hold in terms of this legal action? If you are alluding to her business relationships can you offer other examples, and furthermore, why are they particular to the men she worked with, rather than any of the women? Would we question whether a man's social choices allowed his decisions to be influenced or simply label him a poor business person? If you bring Graham's relationships to the table then is her regard for Protas on trial, and his ability to "influence her," or whether her works should be in the public domain? <P>These questions are for anyone, btw. I'm just getting the sense that what may be on trial is Graham's character, as much as whether Protas should be the executor of her choreographies. If that's the case then am I correct in assuming that the consensus among those who are opposed to Protas is that an artist's works should be considered greater than the person who created them?<P><p>[This message has been edited by Marie (edited April 07, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2001 8:08 am 
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Marie, great questions. Perhaps some of these writers would like to respond?<P>From what I understand, from reading these writings, Graham's business and artistic decisions were influenced to some degree by her personal relationships with the men in her life. However, I really would prefer if any of the historians, biographers and academicians who make this claim could clarify it. And I know there are several people out there who knew Graham and who might be able to enlighten us; however most prefer to remain in the background, for now.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2001 11:07 am 
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Thank you, Dina, for your request that I offer some thoughts and participate in this string of postings. In reviewing them, I am struck by the perceptions about New York Times and why it is perceived that that publication is either biased or simply fulfilling a need to report Protas' side of things since he only really speaks with them and, in particular, one key writer. And that writer knows exactly what it is doing and, as indicated in DanceInsider's coverage of the courtroom scene, its no mistake that Ron "huddles and laughs" with them. Why this has been this way for so long is the real question - but one that should be asked. I was fairly warned on this issue while at Graham, and, while the trial continues, I will remain silent about what I experienced with this regard. It has been sad and I believe terribly misleading, since it has perpetuated only one angle - not very journalistic, in my opinion. The real shame in this whole saga is that so many know so much more than is being shared - yet. What is also sad is that the angle that has been put out there (reported as fact in the Times, in many cases) has, for so long, been taken as truth - chronology, how specific instances have played out, who was involved - you name it. But, I have every confidence that the more light is shed, the more the truth will self-manifest. One can only say he doesnt remember or isnt sure whether authorization was given or, more specifically, blatantly create false history for so long until it all unravels and is seen for what it is and for what it has been all along. And pity the people who think they are somehow in the right by serving this distortion. Would that they knew how they have been maligned and made fun of when they werent looking or, more importantly, weren' yet necessary. Mr. Protas was fond of quoting what he credited as a Chinese saying: "The one running down the road pointing and yelling 'thief' is, in fact, the thief." The sun will, if the world is at all right, shine brightly on the real thief one day soon and maybe something good will come of it all in the end.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2001 11:10 am 
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Thanks Tm!!!Food for thought!!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2001 11:26 am 
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A personal note to Tadej: Thanks for writing from India (on a dancer's salary and with Internet charges by the minute). Since there's not much news about White Oak's tour in India, we will be expecting reports of how it went over there! Image


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2001 1:43 am 
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Interesting discusion.<BR>I am here in India with Battery Dance Company not with White Oak.

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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2001 9:36 pm 
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Oh, yes, that's right. No wonder there's no news of White Oak from India! Duh.<P>But back to the topic, TM said, "The real shame in this whole saga is that so many know so much more than is being shared..." And they are being wise, as it's too easy to say too much. However, in the case of the arts, the court of public opinion does sometimes matter. It matters here because it influences bookings, funding, employment, etc. Therefore, one would hope that the people who care will help shape public opinion, and help steer the legacy of Martha Graham.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2001 12:27 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The Graham trial reports seem to have dropped out of the newspapers. Has anyone heard what is happening?


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