Very good comments, all. FYI: Learning parts from old films and now video, has always been the culture of the Graham mystique. When I first saw where and how these unique, archival films were being stored (in a small, old closet at the Graham studio on the ground floor), I was appalled. I am SO glad that in subsequent years, these have been transferred to video. I also think it's good that many of the Graham materials are now under the care of the Library of Congress.<P>Of the dances currently being done (listed for touring now), I note that while these are good pieces, such as "Appalachian Spring" and "Errand into the Maze," for the most part these are not large ensemble works taking small to very small casts to do. This tells us several things. For one, the company is not being hired out at its potential, full-strength. Secondly, many dances that could or should be done are not. And lastly, money is probably an issue (surprise!). What is being toured now is what I call "Graham lite." Stuff that's wonderful and fairly easily digested by la public, but doesn't really fully show the extent of her choreographic range or depth. Even if the powers that be wanted to keep the programs on the "lite" side, they should include Martha's last, completed work based on Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag. But, as I noted this being a large ensemble work most likely does not fit within their current touring budget parameters. "Night Journey" should be included in this "wish" list of touring dances. Without my reference materials, I'm chagrined to have to report that I cannot recall off of the top of my head, the name of Martha's first, big ensemble piece that she did in about 1929 or 30. Martha was the central figure in white, while the ensemble was in black with long skirts -- ruffles being added by the time I actually saw this work in the mid-70s in NY @ the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. (You would not believe HOW controversial these ruffels were at the time!) Anyway, this is another important work, certainly worthy of being done!<P>Trina -- You've been very fortunate to have studied with among the best! I last saw Ethel Winter (who is considered a "dancer's dancer) when I was last at the Graham "source" in the summer of 1993. She was in the large, first-floor studio giving a class. I had to sigh because I wanted to be in there with them!
(I did take a class, my first Graham class in almost exactly 10 years that day. Great fun. We all laughed when the instructor asked me if my knees were straight or not (I was wearing baggy pants.) and I had to reply, "I don't know...I can't tell!"<P>I presently teach mostly ballet but do modern once/week for a studio in the rural, diary community of Arlington, Washington.<P>On a lighter note, the photographer who did the portrait of Martha that is at the top of this post on this topic, also did a whole series of pix of Graham. Imogen Cunningham was a graduate of the University of Washington (class of 1909, I think) and became a very well-known and respected artist. When the UW did a showing of Cunningham's work as few years ago, I noted that there were many great shots of Martha, not a few in the nude... (Martha was still alive at the time of this retrospective, and I had to wonder out loud to myself and friends if she even recalled posing for these -- as she might have been annoyed (maybe amused), given that she was making the image of herself as the "grand dame" of modern dance and that as glamorous as possible.)<P>[This message has been edited by Dean Speer (edited April 18, 2000).]<p>[This message has been edited by Dean Speer (edited April 18, 2000).]