Martha Graham- lessons on innovation by the Picasso of dance

Innovation enthralls and motivates us to maintain the creative urge. Innovation and creativity is an innate capability of human beings. Few manage to bring the best out of them through the urge to innovate and create and set example for rest of the mankind. This blog makes an effort to provide a holistic approach towards innovation rather than limiting it to technology. I present in this article the usual dose of innovation with a pinch of dance in it by dedicating the post to Martha Graham, also known as ‘the Picasso of dance’.

Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991) was an American modern dancer and choreographer whose influence on dance has been compared with the influence Picasso had on the modern visual arts, Stravinsky had on music, or Frank Lloyd Wright had on architecture. Her creativity was astounding as the ability she had to create unique and splendid moves whenever she graced the stage. Innovation took the centre stage whenever she performed and her personality was truly inspirational. She is known to be one of the greatest artist of 20th century.

About- Martha Graham

Martha inspired people by her demeanour off stage and by her agile performances on stage. Creativity fuelled her energy and she created a movement language based upon the expressive capacity that human beings possess. Her creative works were promoted by her own studio which she managed for an astounding 66 years. Her creativity is said to have crossed all artistic boundaries by embracing every art genre. She had an elegance in her moves and she influenced generations of choreographers establishing her as one of the greatest artists of 20th century. Martha focussed on rudimentary actions of the human form and enlivened the body with raw, electric emotion.

Martha Graham

Martha Graham was inspired by social, political, psychological, and sexual themes and her choreography based around these themes is timeless which connects with audiences of past and present. Her most prominent works came when the world was under the fear of world war. Her works such as Revolt (1927), Immigrant: Steerage, Strike (1928), and Chronicle (1936) came as a respite during those anxious times and have been highly appreciated. Martha turned down Hitler’s invitation to perform in Berlin which reasserted her status as a politically powerful artist.

Related article- Martha Graham – Steerage, Strike and other performances

Putting modern dance on the map required the most modern of thinkers. “I believe in never looking back,” Graham said, and she never did. She had an active career of 70 years and it is said that she came up with surprising creativity even when she was aged 80+. As is said, creativity has no barriers, she pursued her raw, intuitive approach to movement and had no fear of appearing ugly onstage. It’s not for nothing that she’s been called the “Picasso of dance.”

Below is a short excerpt from ‘the dancer’s world’. Truly inspirational and valid to all art form; rather to every human being. Being creative is a bliss which everyone has. All that is required is to have the courage and perseverance to explore its depth.

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