Dance Commentary: Martha Graham On the Couch

By Debra Cash.

Martha Graham — an invitation to play therapist.

Martha Graham famously said, “I wanted to find a way to reveal the inner landscape—to chart a graph of the heart.” So now it’s your turn to play therapist.

The Graham company, which has controversially hosted drag queen Richard Move doing his Martha imitation as part of its own programs and been willing to make fun of its own ultra-serious inheritance in public, is running an online contest that may be the ultimate parlor game for modern dance aficionados—and fans of In Treatment or even Lisa Kudrow’s Web Therapy.

Download one of two three-minute videos, then add your own voiceover beginning with the sentence, “Doctor, it’s happening again.” Include Graham’s legendary quote “Movement never lies” somewhere within the monologue. (In a twist that certainly would reward psychoanalytic investigation, that’s a line she picked up from her father George, an “alienist” who treated patients with “nervous disorders” and who gave her a bouquet outside the theatre where she saw her first dance performance and determined dance was her destiny. Whoa, Electra.)

Richard Move as Martha Graham

Judges include Mark St. Germain, award winning playwright and author of Freud’s Last Session and Julie Jaffe Nagel, psychoanalyst, musician, and chair of Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Music for the American Psychoanalytic Association. Three winning video will be screened during the company’s spring season in New York. First prize is $500; runners up get $300 and $200 respectively.

The deadline is February 1, 2012.

C 2011 Debra Cash

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts