Item description for To Dance on Sands: The Life And Art of Death Valley's Marta Becket by Ginger Mikkelsen Marta Becket...
To Dance on Sands is the autobiography of Marta Becket, artist, dancer, performer and subject of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Amargosa. From her childhood in the bohemian New York of the 1920s and 30s to her career as a successful -- but often financially insecure -- painter, designer and chorus performer on Broadway and television. Beckett tells, in honest prose, the story of the many ups and downs she faced living a life in the arts.
In To Dance on Sands, Becket reveals the obstacles she had to overcome on her way to becoming a dancer and artist -- a distant, judgmental father she almost never saw -- a mother who both encouraged and tried to smother her ambitions -- the grueling regimen of rehearsals and auditions -- the lack of money and the heartbreak of unrequited love. It's a tale of victories (starring roles as a ballerina), defeats ($10-a-night engagements in the dying days of variety), and her eventual artistic rebirth as the owner, choreographer, and star performer for almost 40 years at the Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley Juncion.
* In 2000, Amargosa, a film by Todd Robinson about Becket and her theater, was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary category.
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Reviews - What do customers think about To Dance on Sands: The Life And Art of Death Valley's Marta Becket?
Marta Becket: A RARE FLOWER OF RADIANT BEAUTY. Sep 2, 2006
It always seems that the people who are very quiet and soft spoken are the ones who have the most to say. They only have to whisper, for you to hear them loud and quite clear. Marta Becket is herself a tribute to that very rare individual who has heeded to the calling of their inner voice, and without question proceeds down the unknown path which has been laid before them. Marta Becket finds joy in the creation of her art, rather then seeking the elusive rewards that art might possibly bestow on you, if it finds you worthy. Rather then exploit her art, and as is usually the case, art ends up exploiting you, Marta Becket shares herself through her art, which amongst other things includes her love of dance, painting, music, and probably so much more than I could even begin to guess at. Before I recommend Ms. Becket's book, "To Dance on Sands," I would first recommend that you see the documentary, "Amargosa," (Sold on DVD and VHS exclusively at this time through, "Carlson Films.") about Marta Becket and her vision that she has created and worked hard on in, (of all places), the middle of the Death Valley desert in California, where dreams, and water are scarce, and inspiration is discovered by only those very few individuals who have such an abundance of life within themselves, they have more than enough to share with others. Second, you simply must see Marta Becket live and in person, dance her dance to the celebration of individuality, the joy of creation, and most important, her inspired dance to the spirit of life that each and every one of us shares with each other on this planet. (AND THEN BUY THIS BOOK!)
The Path Jul 25, 2006
Like Poet Stanley Kunitz, who recently died at the age of 100, Marta Beckett, at 82, is further proof that the creativity is a sustaining life force. From dancer, painter, prop designer, chorus girl, soloist, an owner of the Amargosa Opera House, her path is inspiring and also reminds us that every life experience and skill is used in creating art.
Though only a small portion of the book is devoted to her years at Amargosa, the rest of her life story in NYC makes for a compelling read. Amargosa, the academy award nominated film does her years in the desert so fully, that while one wishes there were more about these year in the book, it all balances out.