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Martha Graham Dance on Film (The Criterion Collection)

5.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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The Criterion Collection
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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

One of the great artistic forces of the twentieth century, performer, choreographer, and teacher Martha Graham influenced dance worldwide. Criterion presents a sampling of her stunning craft, all collaborations with television arts-programming pioneer Nathan Kroll. A Dancer's World (1957: 31 minutes), narrated by Graham herself, is a glimpse into her class work and methodology. Appalachian Spring (1959: 29 minutes) and Night Journey (1961: 33 minutes) are two complete Graham ballets, the first a celebration of the American pioneer spirit, scored by Aaron Copland, the second a powerfully physical rendering of the Oedipus myth. These are signature Graham works and tributes to the art of the human body.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Nathan Kroll
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000SFJ4L8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,201 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

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This DVD was absolutely outstanding for me (unfamiliar with modern dance) and exceeded my wife's expectations (very knowledgeable and familiar with modern dance). The reasons for this very positive impression were: Martha herself narrates and explains the whole DVD, the film producer also provides insights into Martha's life and personality, and original dancers performing the original productions.

Very enjoyable either as an expert or as a beginner.
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Wonderful! These 2 DVDs allow you to watch 3 performances and listen to commentaries on them afterwards. These commentaries help you to understand the meanings of the movements in the dances. There is even older footage of Appalacian Spring which is compared to the newer version which I found interesting. I was particularly interested in Martha Graham's techniques, and there is some filming of some of those with her voice narrating and explaining them. It is a treat to hear her speak. For people interested in the filming aspect of the performances and others at that time period, it is neat to hear what Nathan Kroll has to say on that subject.
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Martha Graham was a unique dancer and choreographer whose influence on dance is undeniable. Nathan Kroll's "Martha Graham Dance on Film" captures that and more. This compilation of performances, interviews, and documentaries makes it easy for anyone - not just dancers - to find inspiration in the work of dancers and the progression of Modern Dance through the twentieth century.

The DVD is conveniently broken up into different chapters. Some document Graham's life; others are recordings of her dances and film productions she's made with her company and film industry colleagues. I watch my favorite chapter, "A Dancer's World," all the time. It's so enchanting - kind of like being lulled to sleep to the cadence of your favorite bedtime story. Also, if you pay close attention, throughout the DVD you'll see appearances from other awesome dancers like Merce Cunningham, Mary Hinkson, Yuriko and Paul Taylor.

Due to Graham's contributions to dance on film, this DVD is a great find for any cinephile. It's awesome that Nathan Kroll put this together. You won't be sorry you bought it!
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This lady was a true icon. I am so happy that her performances were preserved for us not so fortunate to see her in person. Each replay of this disc brings a new detail previously missed. Recommend this for all dance buffs.
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Martha Graham has never appeared as sultry and in control of her craft as examined here in this wonderful documentary. It's part instruction, part documentary, part performance, and a totally fabulous look at what it means to be a dancer in the world of dance. You get the definite sense that dance consumed Graham's life (which it did). You see her put her dancers through their paces explaining each choreographed move in the poetic fashion only she could articulate and realize. There are even segments of Graham herself in performance clips from some of her seminal works. This Criterion transfer is luscious and re-digitized in glorious black and white. You can tell its from a time gone by but the picture quality is crisp and absolutely artifact free. Highly recommended and a wonderful tribute to an icon of American 20th century dance.
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Captured this iconic dancer and innovator. I appreciate the variety in the choreographed works on this dvd. As a dance instructor, I also appreciate the glimpse into classwork in the Graham style and how it follows her work from the early stages through her later years. The biography and interviews lent even more depth of her work.
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Wonderful, really wonderful. Not only do you get three of Martha's iconic dances, you get a comparison of two versions of Appalachian Spring separated by decades. It that wasn't enough you a tutorial on the Martha Graham technique, a documentary on how the dances were filmed and extensive interviews with former Graham dancers. This is a keeper!

The CD arrived timely and in perfect condition.
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