Photograph of Martha Graham in Immediate Tragedy (1937).

"That summer at Bennington, Martha prepared and presented a fiercely dramatic new solo, 'Immediate Tragedy', with music especially composed by Henry Cowell. Martha created this dance in honor of the women who had fought beside the men in the Spanish Civil War. She was determined to portray a woman as strong, objective, courageous, passionate. The tempestuous, abandoned movement patterns she developed for 'Immediate Tragedy' startled me. I saw Martha falling to the floor, twisting this way and that, beating on the floor, rebounding up, flinging herself through space. Here was a dramatically expressed burning anger, fueled by heartbreak and grief. Martha's portrayal of this gallant, militant, fearless woman hid nothing." - Dorothy Bird

Premiere of Immediate Tragedy: July 30, 1937 – Vermont State Armory, Bennington, Vermont
Choreography by Martha Graham
Costume by Martha Graham
Music by Henry Cowell
Lighting by Arch Lauterer

Photograph by Robert Fraser


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