Martha Graham: research paper

"People have always asked me why I chose to be a dancer.I did not choose.I was chosen.I was chosen to be a dancer, and with that I live all my life.When a young dancer of mine asks me if she should be a dancer, I always answer,'If you have to ask, then the answer is no.' Only if there is one way to make life vivid for yourself and for others should you embark upon such a career…You will know the wonders of the human body because there is nothing more wonderful.Next time you look into the mirror, just look at the way the ears rest next to the head; look at the way the hairline grows; think of all the little bones in your wrist.It is a miracle.And the dance is a celebration of the miracle." (Graham, 5)
Martha Graham not only spoke those words she lived them. Born on May 11, 1894 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, Graham invented a form of dance that astonished the world in the 20th century.She was not thefirst woman to break the ridgidness of conventional 19th century ballet; many women before her accomplished that.But it was her "homegrown" technique that startled audiences who took the ability of dancers for granted (Teachout).No longer did dancers soar through the air and descend gravity, now pelvic thrusts and rugged floor work captured the stage.Martha Graham influenced the world of dance by introducing unique styles, staging, and costuming.She is known as one of the pioneers of modern dance, and her techniques are still studied around the world by students and professionals.
Graham grew up in the conservative town of Allegheny, Pennsylvania with her father, mother, two sisters, and their maid Lizzie (their brother died at the age of 18 months).Martha was the eldest of the three girls who was incredibly interested in theater as a young girl.Life in Allegany seemed "well ordered" (McDonagh, 110), the rules were strict and religion was the foundation of the soci…