Monday, July 4, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Bookmuse.

In honor of our American holiday, I've selected "Ballet for Martha : making Appalachian Spring" written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan with illustration by Brian Floca.

Greenberg and Jordan relate the creation of the great American Ballet, Appalachian Spring, which is a tribute to American Frontier Life and a remarkable collaboration between Martha Graham, Aaron Copland, and Isamu Noguchi.  Graham, a pioneering choreographer known for her simple yet powerful style of dance, brought her idea for a new ballet to Copland with a request that he compose the music.  Copland, a child of immigrants, drew inspiration from an old Shaker hymn.  The extraordinary sets for the ballet were created by Noguchi, a Japanese-American sculptor. 

The collaboration between Greenberg, Jordan, and Floca have, in turn, produced a book that is equally powerful in its description of how these three talented artists combined their unique talents and perspectives to produce a quintessential American work.  It wasn't always easy, and readers will note the tension that had to be worked through as these three determined artists struggled to understand and accommodate varying viewpoints.  Greenberg and Jordan include source notes, bibliography, and photographs to provide added depth to their work.  Floca's use of line and watercolor give readers a very real sense of movement with each page turn.

As a special treat, here is Simple Gifts from Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring paired with photographs by Ansel Adams via YouTube.  Enjoy!

No comments:

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer