Errand Into the Maze, one of Graham’s most famous works

From the Oxford Dictionary:

Errand into the Maze is a “modern dance work in one act with choreography by Graham, music by Menotti, set by Noguchi, and costumes by Edythe Gilfond. Premiered 28 Feb. 1947 by Martha Graham Dance Company at Ziegfeld Theater, New York, with Graham and M. Ryder. Based on the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur, it symbolizes the struggle between the self and its most secret terrors.”

The piece is set within a Greek Myth, some feel it represents the female protagonist’s struggle to conquer her inner demons, more specifically, fear of sexual intimacy.

The original program notes from its first performance describing the piece, read: “that errand-journey into the maze of the heart to face and do battle with the Creature of Fear.”

Please read this review of Errand Into the Maze from a 1988 performance:

Please view the following Martha Graham pieces and clips:

1. 1. Errand Into the Maze

Lamentation- Martha Graham

Some of next few clips involve Graham technique with regard to floor barre. This is the way in which her dancers warm up- all of it centering from the pelvis and core. This is instrumental to the Graham technique, everything stems from the pelvis and contraction.

graham floor barre:

Crockett demonstrates as Richard Move does Graham:

Katharine Crockett in rehearsal (please watch the last half of this video)

Crockett as Clytemenestra

Graham technique

Journal Entries:

Please pull from your viewing and reading of Chapter 6 in your text to answer the following questions.

What was unique about Martha Graham’s technique and approach to modern dance? Why do you think it was so revolutionary?

Do you think her being a powerful woman focusing her work on female heroines and sexual power was important in the mid 20th century?

What part of the body is the Graham based technique centered around?

Who were Graham’s teachers, what influence do you think they had on her?

What do you think Errand Into the Maze is about?

Choose another Graham piece- Lamentation or Appalachian Spring, and write briefly about why you think this piece stands the test of time and was really something unique and original at the time of its conception.

Balanchine and Graham were contemporaries, both creating ground breaking works in the same city in the same time period, while working in two very different genres of dance. Compare the work of these two choreographic giants: George

Balanchine (Ballet) and Martha Graham (Modern Dance). How are they different, similar? Do you have a preference for one or the other, or do you appreciate both, explain.

Have you ever done anything similar to Graham technique, what do you think it will feel like to center all movement from one place

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