Author

Brendan Lemon

There was a point in the mid-1970s when Martha Graham should have written a memoir. By then she had choreographed scores of works and performed for more than a half century. She had survived a couple of devastating physical breakdowns and appeared to have stopped drinking. But instead of looking back, according to Agnes de Mille’s Martha, Graham ”decided to become a superstar.” She emerged as a kind of arty adjunct to the Studio 54 crowd, swathing her dancers in Halston, creating a ballet for Liza Minnelli, and posing for Blackglama ads.

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There was a point in the mid-1970s when Martha Graham should have written a memoir. By then she had choreographed scores of works and performed for more than a half century. She had survived a couple of devastating physical breakdowns and appeared to have stopped drinking. But instead of looking back, according to Agnes de Mille’s Martha, Graham ”decided to become a superstar.” She emerged as a kind of arty adjunct to the Studio 54 crowd, swathing her dancers in Halston, creating a ballet for Liza Minnelli, and posing for Blackglama ads.

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A holiday gift guide for books

Few things are as Yule-tied as oversize books. The seasonal connection is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because the gift-giver has an almost limitless array of titles from which to choose. And a curse for the same reason: A wide selection makes choosing difficult. A few themes are discernible in the bounty this year: The 19th century is strong, pop music edges out pop art, and the hankering to hit the road and photograph the odyssey is making a comeback. Everything, it seems, exists not just to end up as a book, but to end up as a book on a coffee table.

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