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MY TAKE IN 200 WORDS (or maybe a little more): Martha Graham's Errand Into the Maze


Martha Graham’s Errand Into the Maze (1947) is an exploration of fear of the unknown and fear of the unrecognizable, as the female character is confronted with her own sexuality.  The duet is based on the Greek myth in which Theseus ventures into the Labyrinth to kill the Minotaur.  Falling in love with Theseus, Ariadne gives him a ball of string to help him find his way out of the maze.  After defeating the Minotaur, Theseus sails away with Ariadne before abandoning her alone on an island.  In Graham’s telling of the story, Ariadne, who is only a pawn used and discarded by the man she loves, finds a voice, becoming the center of the drama.  In Errand, Ariadne haphazardly follows the maze of rope on the floor, twisting her torso and legs opposite from each other as she steps.  Her body’s contractions and facial expressions show us she is struggling; she seems to want to climb out of her own body.  When the Minotaur enters the stage, the two clash in danced combat.  He obviously has power over her, yet she is still able to control him.  Their final battle results in the victory of Ariadne.  In this piece, Graham uses bound movement in order to construct a powerful image of Ariadne, protesting patriarchy through a clearly female perspective.  She uses the Minotaur creature as a metaphor for Ariadne’s inner battles with herself, as well as a counter to Ariadne’s power. 



 


 

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