Monday, January 3, 2011

Ballet for Martha by Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jordan and Brian Floca

Three people - Greenberg, Jordan and Floca - have created a book about the making of Appalachian Spring, a dance piece that was in turn a collaboration between three people: Martha Graham, dancer and choreographer; Aaron Copland, composer; and Isamu Noguchi, the artist who designed the set. This innovative ballet was about a marriage, a new home and a new life in pioneer America. It premiered in 1944 in Washington D.C. The text is distilled free verse, muscular in content, yet dancing lightly on the page. Floca's watercolour illustrations make the whole thing vividly real. From the frustrations of rehearsals to the triumphant first performance, I felt like I was right there, participating. Bravo to a fabulous book. Grade 3 and up for solo reading, all ages for read-aloud enjoyment.

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