Graham, Classical, Soul And Movement

Graham technique is the cornerstone of Modern Dance. Most of the products on this website are inspired by this theme due to my background as a dancer and Ballet student between 1984 and 1992, having also co-produced a late and last dance school project until 1995. After that, my journey through the charismatic world of dance ended once and for all, giving way to the beginning of a career in graphic arts. But those who spend so many years intensely connected to a world like the one of dance never forget it, it’s something that remains ingrained in the soul and body like a tattoo that even removed always leave a mark.

The Academy where I studied taught one of the most complete courses in the country and in terms of practical subjects included intensive study and training in Classical Ballet, Character Dances and the so-called Modern Dance from the pioneering technique that revolutionized dance in the United States and consequently somewhat all over the world – the Graham technique -, marking a new era in the world of Dance, just as Callas did in the world of Opera, Picasso in the world of Painting, Stravinsky in the world of Music and Frank Wright in the world of Architecture – designing for harmony between the environment and humanity, less style and more functionality.

The Graham technique was created and developed in the 20th century by the American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham over her 70 years in the business. Like Maria Callas in opera, Martha Graham imprinted on dance the break with the decorative movements of Classical Ballet, that search for aesthetics and perfection for the sake of mere entertainment, born in the courts of Italian Renaissance of the 16th century. Instead, Martha explored the pure origin of movement, the relationship of the human body with the ground that supports and propels it through the surrounding air, within breathing analogy, seeking dance as a profound expression of human reality in its existential dramatism, the hardness of life exposed to movement. The personification of reality against the theatricality of all other dance kinds because this aspect of mere entertainment was not only present in Classical Ballet, but also in other and even more recent techniques from ethnical nature. The feeling of living against the performance of acting.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. – Martha Graham

And in fact, going back over my dance experience, revolving my physical and mental memories, I remember loving Classical Ballet, I still love to see classical ballets, the sets, the individual male and female performances, the corps de ballet, the music, the magnificence… even those Character Dancings from Russia, Spain, Romania, Italy… but what really engraved my soul was that spirit of Graham, that thing that doesn’t come to mind, doesn’t stay in the memory, comes from the being, in such a way that it is reflected in my artistic works. Whenever I draw on Dance theme, it’s not the classical poses that come naturally to me. What inevitably sprouts of my hand through the pencil is the fluidity of movement, Graham in harmony with life, a conquered and uncontained freedom, the organic expression of a strong feeling or a state of soul, in transition, in permanence, a thing of space without place, a thing of time without measure.

No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time; it is just that others are behind the times. – Martha Graham

Don’t think that Graham is technically easier than Ballet, not at all. In my student days we had the same number of daily hours of practical training for both Ballet and Graham. Graham requires as much effort, technique, persistence and dedication as Classical Ballet and as any high level competitive physical activity. Being a dancer is not a profession, it is a way of life, a mission, a lifetime commitment of body and soul.

Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired. – Martha Graham

That is why I was not destined to continue dancing, my personal path seemed too branched at that time. My journey in the world of Dance revealed to me a passage, a reflection of a previous life, but an apprenticeship, an experience that enriched and shaped my body and mind forever, in a perspective of base for other missions, outside the stages, the studios and the dressing rooms.

Even today, 30 years later, I benefit from the knowledge and physical transformation I acquired at that Academy. I stopped dancing in space, but continued dancing in soul.

Graham-inspired designs

Find references and more knowledge in Learning Links

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