BALLET FOR MARTHA by Jan Greenberg
Kirkus Star

BALLET FOR MARTHA

Making Appalachian Spring
Age Range: 6 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Appalachian Spring, the modern dance that celebrates the wedding of a Pioneer Woman and her Husbandman, is a brillantly conceived and enduring paean to American frontier life. It premiered in 1944 with choreography by the innovative Martha Graham, music by Aaron Copland, a child of Eastern European immigrants, and sets by Isamu Noguchi, the Japanese-American sculptor who voluntarily went into a World War II internment camp. The award-winning Greenberg and Jordan tell the story of this collaboration, which began when Copland composed music he entitled "Ballet for Martha." Through the use of active sentences in the present tense and brief quotes, the authors convey the excitement and drama of the creative process and the triumph of the ballet. Floca, a multiple Sibert Award honoree for his prowess in depicting the technical worlds of spaceships and lightships, here uses watercolor and pen-and-ink in a glorious depiction of modern dance movement, with its quiet hand gestures, dramatic leg kicks and the swirl of dancers "fluttering, skittering, reaching up to the sky." A stunning achievement. Archival photographs embellish the biographical notes at the end--a lovely touch. (bibliography, notes) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-338-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Neal Porter/Flash Point/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2010




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