My husband has found some of his best reading-list ideas after checking out the obits. Sometimes I find blog stories there. This one is about a ballet dancer who brought her art to the desert.
The Associated Press reported, “Marta Becket, a dancer and artist who spent decades presenting one-woman shows at a remote Mojave Desert hall that she made famous as the Amargosa Opera House, died Jan. 30 at her home in Death Valley Junction, Calif. She was 92.
“A New York City native, she had performed on Broadway and at Radio City Music Hall. A flat tire during a 1967 camping trip with her husband to Death Valley, changed her life.
“They discovered an abandoned theater in a mining town. The couple rented the building, and Marta Becket made her debut in 1968 at the renamed Amargosa Opera House. In the beginning, only the three Mormon families who lived in the town at that time came to watch.
“The nearest town is 23 miles away from the opera house, but audiences filled its 114 theater seats so many times over the years that extra chairs sometimes had to be brought in.
“Ms. Becket wrote songs and dialogue, sewed costumes, and painted sets. She danced every Monday, Friday, and Saturday whether the house was full or empty. …
‘‘ ‘I love dance. I love ballet. It’s the world I want,’ she said in 2001. ‘It’s mystifying. I feel as if this is what I was intended to do.’’ …
“Her story was captured in 2000 in the award-winning documentary ‘Amargosa.’ ” More here.
I love that she danced even if there was no audience. That’s art.
Photo: AM Morris/The Las Vegas Sun
Marta Becket danced en pointe during the inaugural performance of “Masquerade” at the Amargosa Opera House.