Thursday, September 22, 2011

Return to the Library of Congress!

Exciting news here is that Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring will be featured on Tuesday, October 4 at an event at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where the dance was first performed. Here are the details, via the Librarys press release:
“The ballet classic Appalachian Spring, created by Martha Graham with music by Aaron Copland, is the subject of a new book for young people, called Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring (Roaring Brook Press: 2010). The Coolidge Foundation of the Library of Congress commissioned the work, which premiered in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium on Oct. 30, 1944.
A program featuring the creators of Ballet for Martha, as well as a performance by members of the Martha Graham Dance Company of excerpts of Appalachian Spring, will be part of an event on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 11 a.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. A small display of important items from the Library’s Martha Graham Collection will also be on view. Students from local schools will attend this event but all are welcome.
The book Ballet for Martha was written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, with illustrations by Brian Floca. These three will present an illustrated discussion of their book, which will be available for sale and signing. The dancers from the Graham Company are Miki Orihara and Tadej Brdnik. Speaking on behalf of the Library are John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book, which oversees the Library’s Young Readers Center, and Susan Vita, chief of the Music Division.”
The full press release is here. It will be an honor to present the book in this setting and in this company. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll be able to make it to the event.
Above, an alternate sketch of the audience arriving at the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building on the eve of the ballet’s debut.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Dinosaur Draw-Off

As a boy I loved to draw dinosaurs. 

I knew that Tyrannosaurus rex was the king of the dinosaurs, and so I always gave him a crown. Later the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat stole this idea from me and used it for an image that you can now see on a collection of Maya Angelou poems, a box of chocolates, and who knows where else. 

But the point is: dinosaurs and drawing, and that I’m pleased to announce that I will be moderating the DINOSAUR DRAW-OFF at the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend. Bob Shea, Matt Myers and Roxie Munro are the artists who will draw for your entertainment, edification, and astonishment. 

(And my qualifications as moderator? Ive been around the block myself. I would say that book was a long time ago, but whats a long time ago when were talking dinosaurs?)

I’m looking forward to the drawing and drawings that we can expect from this very talented group. I hope you’ll join us. We’ll be at the Target Childrens Area, Joralemon and Adams Streets, Sunday September 18, from 10:30 to 11:00 AM. All Brooklyn Book Festival events are free. More details here. I hope to see you there!