Born in 1894, was a drop out of the Denishawn School of dance.
Father was a doctor of nervous mental disorders.
Her approach to choreography was from the heart.
At 22, she was plain and overweight and alcoholism soon took over her career.
She was the first person to open up a multi-racial club and she encouraged dancers to dance as individuals.
She rebelled religious boundaries
1917 - Joined Denishawn, worked closely with Ted Shawn.
Danced for the 7 presidents starting with Roosevelt.
She refused to dance at the Berlin Olympics because dancers using the same technique as her were being punished for dancing that way.
She was very expressive and often used literature as a basis of her work.
Her work based on the lower back and pelvis area
Dancers were often making costumes throughout the night.
Famous movement was release and contraction.
181 pieces of work created - most famous is lemotation
Created the only codified dance of the period apart from ballet
Her dance school initially only had girls/women.
Received the medal of freedom in 1976
Ages 74 she stopped performing
She is famous for leaving a technique behind interested in body and heart and a school.
It took her whole life to evolve her dance skills "I've simply rediscovered what the body can do"
She started the basics of dance (skips, jumps, runs etc)
Contractions come from Denishawn school
Eric Hawkins was the first male dancer to come to the school
In the 1960's alcoholism took over Martha but her school continued because it had become so strong with lots of teachers
Martha died in 1991 at 97 years old.
Martha started dancing after seeing a poster of Ruth St. Dennis
She was always perfectly groomed and told dancers not to drink water 3...