In 1944 the modern American ballet Appalachian Spring premiered at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The collaborators behind the performance anxiously awaited the critical response to their artistic achievement: Would the world understand what they had done?
In Ballet for Martha, the journey to this stage and the success shared among choreographer Martha Graham, composer Aaron Copland, and artist Isamu Noguchi is expressively captured by acclaimed children’s book authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. Together they tell the exceptional story of the collaborative efforts behind the creation of Appalachian Spring. Martha Graham, famous American dancer and pioneering choreographer, ignited the process with her innovative dance routines and desire to create a ballet that would represent America. With Martha’s spirit and choreography in mind, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Copland built upon the melodies of an old Shaker hymn to create the original score. He titled it simply “Ballet for Martha”. Upon Martha’s request, artist Isamu Noguchi created the stage design for the ballet, using a simple and angular style that reflected the movements of Martha’s choreography.
This story, first chronicled in the award-winning book, is now brought to life in an original audiobook production by Brilliance Audio. Acclaimed actress Sarah Jessica Parker captures the voices and emotions of Martha Graham, Aaron Copland, and Isamu Noguchi as they work together to produce the dance, score, and set of this beloved American ballet. Accompanying the narration is a full performance by the Seattle Symphony of the very score which fueled and inspired the ballet. Listeners will be delighted by the layered collaborations brought together in this audio production. From the three trail-blazing artists who labored to capture America through lyrical movement, lilting melody, and avant-garde design, to the literary, vocal, and orchestral talents of today, Ballet for Martha is a beautiful, musical journey for listeners of all ages.