From Chapter 2, Making Dances

"One afternoon, Martha had Sasha show us his Seer's solo, in which Tiresius reveals that Oedipus had murdered his father and married his mother.  His entrance was a series of traveling flex-footed jumps across the front of the stage. He gained elevation by pounding a stout Isamu Noguchi staff into the floor, making a terrific racket.  We were dazzled and Martha was pleased.  Critics witlessly likened those jumps to a man on a pogo stick.  But pogo stick and rider go up and down together, while Seer and staff went in opposite directions.  And a pogo stick rider is hoppity and cute, while the Seer was jolting and demented." 


Curley's Wife

My first dance, photo left, by Alfred Gescheidt, was titled, FLAK, inspired by exploding anti-aircraft fire, which I saw up close on bombing missions. In 2009,

Aerial flak was shot at  bombers in flights, so in 2009 I set the solo on five young dancers of the Martha Graham Ensemble, making it a quintet. The dance lasts as long as the typical bomb run, about  two minutes. A video is below; take a look.



Curley's Wife


The photo left is of a duet titled CURLEY"S WIFE, choreographed by Linda Hodes, who I'm lifting. The story is from John Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN, the part in which the giant, Lenny, accidentally strangles the flirtatious wife of Curley, the ranch boss.

Link direct to Concord ePress, and Intro by Richard Move:

Dancers Studio


Fixing up our wonderful loft on 8th Street, Manhattan. Bertram Ross is on the ladder, Irving Burton dancing, Linda Hodes and me scraping a wall. We called it "Dancers Studio,"  rent, $100 a month because the building would be torn down in three years. It was a great three years.

Photo by Alfred Gescheidt

John Cage and Merce Cunningham


We rented Dancers Studio for one dollar an hour. Because Merce Cunningham and John Cage were our very first, I didn't want to charge.  But Cage handed me a dollar and said, "Tape it to the wall."

John Cage at piano. Merce Cunningham dancing. Photo by Alfred Gescheidt

Iris Mabry


Iris Mabry gave a concert at the elegant International Theater on Columbus Circle. Lithe and slender yet voluptuous, she had an elegantly beautiful face, the kind one expects to see relaxed into the confident assurance generated by a lifetime of admiration. But on stage, Iris Mabry was consumed by dark forces.

Photo courtesy of the Jacob's Pillow  Archives

This is from Chapter 2. Links to other chapters

go to:  HOME                                                Chapter 7 - TKO'd In Paris and London
            Chapter 1 - Dance Lessons            Chapter 8 - The Grand Tour
            Chapter 3 - On Stage!                      Chapter 9 - Asia 
            Chapter 4 - Martha                            Chapter 10 - Dance Master
            Chapter 5 - Her Little Crackers        Chapter 11 - A Dancing Fool
            Chapter 6 - Critics Say                     Chapter 12 - Post-Martha Syndrome