In defense of pretty things

I’ve always been a very decisive girl. I either like things or I don’t. With me, there isn’t much “well I didn’t like it, but now that I know that this piece of plastic is supposed to symbolize the coming of age…” Nope. None of that. When I like something, it’s because I enjoy it – not because it’s cool or edgy or the artist is up-and-coming.

I’ve also always liked pretty things. Pretty songs, pretty paintings, pretty clothes… you get the point.

Last night, my friend Carson invited me to go see the Martha Graham Dance Company with her at Memorial Hall. As a lifelong dancer, I leapt at the opportunity (see what I did there?). I get to go see the successors of the mother of modern dance? Yes please.

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But here’s the thing: I was not expecting the show to be pretty. Martha Graham is the mother of modern dance, not So You Think You Can Dance. She did some pretty weird stuff in her day. I had fully prepared myself to see some weird, existential pieces that lasted 50 minutes each and involved an unnecessary amount of walking (really… what is it with modern dance and walking?). I was prepared to not get the point of something but still talk about it like it was dance history in the making. I was ready to be a poseur!

Shockingly, I didn’t even have to be! The dancers were, in a word, fierce. They’re dance powerhouses, artists, actors, athletes… they’re everything.

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Also… Sonya Tayeh choreographed one of the pieces. So like… yeah.

I must admit: there was one super weird dance. It was a fusion of dance and theater and when it was introduced, the emcee said “don’t try to look for a plot… because it doesn’t have one.” And it sure didn’t. It certainly wasn’t painful to watch, but it also wasn’t super enjoyable.

But anyway… back to pretty things. The last piece was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. The costumes, the choreography, the music – it was all gorgeous. Check it out for yourself:

Echo, choreographed by Andonis Foniadakas

If you don’t know who Martha Graham is, you’re not alone… but you are missing out. Go on, give it a Google.

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