Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Schools : Martha Graham doodle & Arts education

Martha Graham
credits: Barbara Morgan
 Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York

Martha Graham Google doodle

Another beautiful Google doodle interactive! This time, Google celebrates the 117th Anniversary of Martha Graham.

Google has marked her 117th birthday with a bespoke Google Doodle that has been animated by Ryan Woodward inspired by Blakeley White-McGuire, a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, dancing a phrase of iconic Graham moves designed by Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance.

If you initially visit the Google homepage you will be greeted by a blank screen, but after a short pause, the animation of a figure styled on Martha Graham (and her choreography) gracefully dances across the screen to spell out six letters writing the word Google in swooping movements and turns. Beautiful!

Martha Graham
"How do you fit seven decades of American innovation into 15 seconds? That was the challenge when Google asked us to collaborate on a Google Doodle to celebrate Martha Graham’s birthday."

Martha Graham

The real story behing Martha Graham's Google doodle is here. Don't miss the story of the 5 figures styled on Martha Graham's perfomances.

Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 - April 1, 1991) was an American dancer and choreographer whose name became synonymous with 'modern' or 'contemporary' dance.

"Her fierce choreography sometimes amazed and sometimes horrified, but in it she embodied modern dance — arrogantly and spectacularly."

Terry Teachout, Time Magazine

Martha Graham's influence on dance is comparable to Picasso's influence on painting, or Stravinsky on music.

In the 1920s and 30s, she created a completely new style of dancing and revolutionized dance and theater worldwide.

Graham's choreography, techniques and routines form the basis of many modern styles of dance. 

Martha Graham (collage)

She performed since 14 years old, she became a dancer at the age of 22, and left the stage at the age of 75 when she gave her final performance in 1969.

Graham choreographed more than 180 works, looking on enviously later in life at young dancers performing in her signature style, based upon contraction and release of the body.
Her legacy lives on in the techniques used by dance companies around the globe, including the Martha Graham Dance Company that has continued to develop contemporary dance since its founding in 1926, often rooting works in contemporary social contexts.

“I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer. It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable.”

Twitter is a buzz with famous quotes from Martha Graham and her supporters over the years.

Advertisement for Graham's first BAM appearance, 1933


As you can see, if you are reading some of my posts, Grand Finale: Dream comes true25 Years of Pixar in EducationWorld Day Dance in the School Fighting Kids Obesity... DancingI think Arts education programs may be on file at schools. 

"In a world of extraordinary complexity, a premium is placed on one's ability to quickly process massive amounts of wildly varying types of information. Musical instruction helps young people develop the brain capacity to process a lot of information and to organize and present it."

There are an enormous group of students well gifted that can't afford early artistic education.

Students attending schools in high poverty communities have less access to Arts instruction than their peers in more affluent communities.

Pressure to improve test scores in other content areas is another top barrier to Arts education. 

However it is proved that Arts, music, dance theater, are a wonderful therapy for hyperactive kids that have concentration problems.

Arts give them the concentration discipline and the pleasure to express with creativiy.

It's true that a lot of schools do not have even  specialist of Arts in full-time-equivalent, although secondary schools are much more likely than elementary schools to employ specialists. 

At the elementary level, Arts education is often left to regular teachers who rarely  have adequate training.

It's important to inform school directors, regular teachers, parents, and students that Arts are a core subject by providing professional development for teachers and establishing assessment and accountability systems for Arts education. 

It would be important to give a different meaning of Arts in school curricula and to have good Arts teachers providing professional first development for kids that could, in a different level of education, continue Arts studies at Arts Higher Schools. 


Copyright © 2011G-Souto'sBlog,®

References and Resources for Educators:

Keep Arts in the schools

Marha Grham's coreograpy embodied by a Google doodle

The Graham's Center celebratates our Google doodle

The Time/ Artists

Wikipedia/ Martha Graham

Licença Creative Commons
Martha Graham doodle and Arts education by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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