from Chapter 8 - "The Grand Tour"

Picture
    After the final curtain, we were removing make-up when a white-haired gentlemen poked his head in the door, turned back, beckoned, and in came a middle-aged woman – the Queen – and a beautiful young one – a princess.  We leapt out of our chairs and stood half naked, Bob holding his dance belt in his hands. Our deshabille seemed unnoticed.  The Queen spoke softly, asked a few questions, about what I can't recall, listened to our answers, smiled, bid us farewell. 
    In those few minutes the Queen of the Netherlands impressed me deeply.  Her loving sweetness reminded me of Helen Keller.  I mentioned this to the white-haired Dutch gentleman who accompanied us throughout Holland.  A few days later he told me he'd passed my comment to the Queen.
    In Amsterdam, we followed a circus into an amphitheater where a powerful spoor caused several dancers to sneeze their heads off in the dressing rooms. But not one sneeze on stage.
    Responding to an official request, Martha gave an open class for Dutch dance people.  But first she gave us a small lecture. "The arts in Holland receive royal patronage. Dance is changing and factions are vying. Make no statement that can be taken to support one or another."
    The smallish studio was open on three sides and jammed with people.  Martha wore a  new teaching dress and gave basic moves, explaining each to the watchers.  We ended with bison jumps followed by standing falls, got enthusiastic applause.
    Martha had taught demonstration classes in New York, but this was our first real lecture-demonstration.  Today, the "lect-dem" is a staple of educational dance programs, but as far as I know, the first ever took place that day, summer, 1954, Holland, by Martha and the Graham troupe. 


This is Chapter 8 - Click for Other Chapters:

Go to:   HOME                                               Chapter 6 - Critics Say
            Chapter 1 - Dance Lessons            Chapter 7 - TKO'd in {Paris and London
            Chapter 2 - Making Dances            Chapter 9 - Asia 
            Chapter 3 - On Stage!                     Chapter 10 - Dance Master
            Chapter 4 - Martha                           Chapter 11 - A Dancing Fool
            Chapter 5 - Her  Little Crackers     Chapter 12 - Post-Martha Syndrome
                                                       CONTACT