Historic time period: 1929–1945
A Story About America in Dance and Music
Stretch out your body and tune your violin! Learn about how a dancer/choreographer, composer, and sculptor worked together to tell a beautiful story about American history! In 1943, Martha Graham, Aaron Copland, and Isamu Noguchi created Appalachian Spring, a ballet that told the story of an American pioneer community.
The National Museum of American History has a large and diverse collection of objects that tell the story of arts in America, from dance costumes to sheet music and photographs to phonographs. To see some of the other objects related to performing arts, visit the online collection search.
Ballet for Martha tells the story of three artists who work together to create an amazing dance performance. Each artist brings his or her own skills to the team to tell a story about life in America. You can learn more about dance, music, photography, and collaboration, by reading Ballet for Martha and by checking out some of the related activities.
Read This Book
You can learn more about performing arts by exploring this book.
More Recommended Books
- How Does the Show Go On: An Introduction to the Theatre by Thomas Schumacher and Jeff Kurtti
- Aaron Copland (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers) by Mike Venezia
Read Ballet for Martha
Meet three artists whose different skills help them create a beautiful story told in dance, music, and stage setting.Download the PDF »
Camera Creativity and Collaboration
Learn from Objects
Take a close look at a famous picture of Martha Graham, then grab your camera and make your own dance photo with a friend or family member.Download the PDF »
Make a Mini Dance
Play and Create
Get creative and make a dance that spells out a special word or message!Download the PDF »
Explore Your Theater
Take a Trip
Visit a theater or dance class in your area and talk about what you learn about performing arts near you.Download the PDF »
Dance is just one way to turn music into something you can see. Your computer can take music and turn it into a different kind of visible art.Download the PDF »