The brilliant idea (The Black Sun in the context of the Element of Fire (via gray Mars and Venus))
The father, who worked as a doctor and used physical movements to eliminate neurological disorders, influenced Martha greatly when she was a child. Dr. Graham believed that body can express the inner feelings of a person, and this idea intrigued his daughter very much. In fact, Martha devoted her whole life to the expression of this idea by creating her own school of dance. Graham quickly found her own style, her own unique artistic charm, and began to carry out complex experiments in dance. She illustrated her vision of the world via unusual torn movements, which no one had previously applied. Graham believed that this physical expression gave the output for the spiritual and emotional aspects, which were totally ignored in other western dance forms. This idea completely captured her and held even after she could not dance.
The Mother of the Modern Dance (The White Mercury, the White Moon)
The participation in dance demanded from Martha enormous discipline, dedication and daily self-cultivation, which she successfully did. She followed a higher purpose under any circumstances. It was a great stepping stone, which helped her to make a revolution in dance. The idea, she was crazy about since her childhood, found a way out, and the element of fire played a significant role in this.
Martha Graham is considered to be the mother of the modern dance. She created its unique, fully codified technique and had a huge impact on its every area. Before this time, only frivolous dancing in a cabaret or European ballet, in which men and women had strictly defined gender roles existed. Martha refused the standard views and sought to make her characters impersonal, conventional, formal, strong and even masculine. In the body of the dancer the audience should see a person in general - disciplined, strong, and capable of high concentration.
The perfect shape (The White/Grey Mars, the influence of the element of fire, the White Saturn)
Dance was the main thing for Martha in her life, and she did not grunge anything for it. Graham said: "I was dancing for my whole life. Sometimes I had to give away all my power because of this. Sometimes it was frustrating, sometimes – terrifying, but in the end - it is inevitable". Despite all the difficulties, burdens, fatigue and problems, Martha continued dancing and continually followed her goal, persistently perfecting the technique and the language of the dance.
At the same time, she showed a fundamental innovation in style. Martha began the search, which eventually led her to modern dance, a style which interpreted the dance as a way of self-understanding, as a tool, which can illuminate the subconscious, the most subtle human emotions.
She liberated the dance, which on the one hand was burdened with golden academic chains, and on the other - was too frivolous. Her new form made classical ballet more familiar and understandable for a usual spectator. Choreography was building on the basis of distinct stories, not typical for classical European ballet. Choreographer strived to give to the body of a dancer the greatest freedom in playing the emotional state. By focusing on the core activity of the human form, she animated the body with raw, electric emotion. As a result, her technique was mastered by numerous followers and is in demand even nowadays.
The parts and the whole (The White Moon, the White Mars, the Black Jupiter)
Martha’s creativity and artistry knew no bounds and touched almost every genre - she worked with artists, musicians, designers, sculptors and composers, ordering them components of her performance, personally participating in the creation of every nuance. She even taught other dancers in her troupe by her own example, being the principal carrier of innovative techniques, which she was mastering in the experiments for a long time. There is no doubt that everything in her performances – the dance, sculptural poses, gestures, costumes, movement of the costumes and color combination are no less important than music, light and design. All together it creates a play of a tremendous emotional power. Graham brought an expressive American sensibility in each topic she worked with from artistic practice, deeply rooted in the rhythm of American life and the struggle of an individual. "The dance reveals the spirit of the country from where it comes. If it can’t do it, it loses the integrity and importance", she wrote.
In addition, it should be mentioned that Martha was multi-talented creative person with an extraordinary mind. She constantly used Greek myths, biblical stories, Native American, Japanese and European legends, as well as poetry and literary plots for her performances.
The Generosity (The White Moon, the White Saturn)
A dancer Glen Tetley said: "Martha was very generous. So many people "stole" her unique body language, consciously or unconsciously, and used it in their performances. I have never heard her saying: "Such and such used my choreography". She created a whole movement, which carried out a revolution in the world of dance, and created what is known as modern dance today. Nowadays dancers all over the world are studying and performing the modern dance and choreographers and professional dancers watch her performances in search of inspiration, despite the fact that many early critics described her dances as "ugly", which, however, did not touch her.
The Willpower (The Black/Grey Venus, temporary loss of connection with the element of fire)
After retiring from the stage, Martha had a deep depression, which was fed by the contemplation of the young dancers performing many of the dances she put up for herself and her husband. Her health went downhill as she abused alcohol to numb her pain. In her memoirs she wrote: "It had been many years since I gave up ballet before I was able to watch someone else dancing. I believe that one should never look back, indulge in nostalgia, or recollect something. However, how can you avoid it when you look at the scene and you see the dancer, who is looked at like you were looked at thirty years ago, when you danced ballet, which was created with a person you were crazy in love with? I think it's a circle of Dante’s hell, which he omitted. When I stopped dancing, I lost the will to live. I stayed at home alone, ate very little, drunk and thought too much. My face was terrible, and finally, my system just failed. I spent a lot of time in the hospital, most of it in a coma".
After a failed suicide attempt, Martha was hospitalized. Graham not only recovered, but pulled herself together. She gave up drinking, returned to her studio, reorganized her company and created ten new ballets and numerous performances.
The life-long dance (The Fire)
Martha was dancing and choreographing for over than seventy years. She became the first dancer who performed at the White House, the first dancer who traveled overseas as a cultural ambassador, and the first dancer, who received the highest civilian award - the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As the mother of the modern dance, she will be immortalized in the memory of people for her incredibly emotional performances, her unique choreography, and especially for her extraordinary dance technique. Undoubtedly, Martha Graham is one of the few who made the dance world change.