4/14/16 O&A NYC DANCE: The Martha Graham Dance Company Begins 90th Anniversary Season Today

By Walter Rutledge

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The Martha Graham Dance Company begins their 90th anniversary season today at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). The company will present four extraordinary programs on Thursday April 14, Friday April 15, Saturday April 16 and Monday April 18, featuring four of Graham’s most acclaimed masterworks Chronicle (1933), Appalachian Spring (1944) Cave Of The Heart (1946), and Night Journey (1947). In addition to the Graham works company will present premieres by internationally acclaimed choreographers Marie Chouinard, Mats Ek, and Pontus Lidberg, and recent works by Nacho Duato and Andonis Foniadakis. Continue reading

2/13/15 O&A Shall We Dance: Lloyd Knight – A Dancer’s World

Shall We Dance

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One of Martha Graham’s most memorable quotes, “It takes ten years, usually, to make a dancer. It takes ten years of handling the instrument, handling the material with which you are dealing, for you to know it completely.” This year marks Lloyd Knight’s tenth year with the Martha Graham Dance Company. His ascent through the ranks of the company culminated with Knight becoming a principal dancer prior to the 2015 New York City season. Continue reading

2/6/15 O&A Martha Graham Dance Company Returns To The Joyce

By Walter Rutledge
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Martha Graham had a fondness for Greek literature and mythology, and utilized these larger than life characters and themes as a source for inspiration. If we were to describe the present Martha Graham Dance Company using a figure from antiquity it would definitely be the Phoenix. The death of Graham, a nasty legal battle for control of work and the changing public attitude toward “how modern was modern dance” seemed to predict the final curtain call for the venerable dance company.

So many institutions struggled to survive after the death of the company’s name sake and major artistic voice, unfortunately many were not able to redefine their mission and are now just a memory. The Graham Company has found a way to not only redefine, and like the Phoenix, to rise with a renewed vigor. Through innovative programming, thoughtful reconstructions and exciting new commissions the Martha Graham Dance Company is once again making a bold artistic statement.

After what can only be described as a triumphant return to New York City Center last year, the company will begin their 2015 New York Season Tuesday, February 10 at the Joyce Theater. The company pays tribute to Graham’s defining influence as an American Modernist with Shape&Design, a program highlighting the sculptural and architectural aspects of choreography by Graham and others. The expanded season, which runs through February 22, will offer 14 performances over twelve days. 

A Conversation With Janet Eilber- Artistic Director Martha Graham Dance Company

Panorama and Chronicle, Graham classics that set the standard for geometric force, are featured, along with Embattled Garden and Errand into the Maze, masterworks with evocative sets by Isamu Noguchi. Shape&Design includes recent works by renowned choreographers Nacho Duato, Andonis Foniadakis, and Annie-B Parson. The company celebrates the 85th anniversary of Graham’s iconic solo Lamentation with the world premiere of four new Lamentation Variations, choreographed by Kyle Abraham, Michelle Dorrance, Liz Gerring, and Sonya Tayeh.

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The performance schedule:

Program A: Feb 11, 15 at 7:30pm; Feb 12, 20-21 at 8pm; Feb 22 at 2pm – Satyric Festival Song, Embattled Garden, Lamentation Variations (including pieces by Kyle Abraham and Sonya Tayeh), Rust, Chronicle

Program B: Feb 17, 22 at 7:30pm; Feb 13-14, 19 at 8pm – Lamentation Variations (including pieces by Michelle Dorrance and Liz Gerring), Errand Into the Maze, The Snow Falls in the Winter, Echo.
Each B Program will open with Essential Shape&Design:
Feb 13 – Deep Song and Panorama
Feb 14, 17 – Frontier and “Steps in the Street”
Feb 19, 22 – Deep Song and Primitive Mysteries (Excerpt)

Program C: Feb 15, 21 at 2pm; Feb 18 at 7:30pm – Lamentation, Embattled Garden, At Summer’s Full, Errand Into the Maze, Diversion of Angels

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The Gala performance honoring Frank Gehry and Peter Arnell will take place on Tuesday February 10. The program will include Steps in the Street with stage design by Frank Gehry, Shape&Design- a film by Peter Arnell, Misty Copeland in At Summer’s Full and the World Premiere of all four Lamentation Variations by Kyle Abraham, Michelle Dorrance, Liz Gerring, and Sonya Tayeh. A Gala dinner will follow at IAC HQ, featuring Diane von Furstenberg’s Dress The Kick. For Gala tickets contact the Martha Graham Dance Company for tickets to the Gala Performance on Tuesday, February 10. For more information, email info@marthagraham.org or call 212-229-9200.

In Photo: 1)  PeiJu Chien-Pott in Lamentation 2) Xiaochuan Xie in Annie-B Parson’s The Snow Falls in the Winter 3) PeiJu Chien-Pott in Martha Graham’s Errand into the Maze

Photo Credit:  1&3) Hibbard Nash  2)Brigid Pierce

To view Graham’s masterwork Appalachian Spring click below:

Graham Letter to World 1

http://outandaboutnycmag.com/2615-shall-we-dance-friday-appalachian-spring/

 

 

Martha Graham: Appalachian Spring and Rite of Spring

By Walter Rutledge

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The recent all too-short season of the Martha Graham Dance Company at New York City Center was a resounding artistic success. The company performed two programs of Graham classics and stunning new works by Nacho Duato and Andonis Foniadakis. The Saturday March 22 evening program included two Graham classics Appalachian Spring (1944) and Rite of Spring (1984).  Both works reinforced the fact that Graham was not only as a master craftsman, but also as an artist with a strong sense of classic form, structure and design. Continue reading

Martha Graham Dance Company Opening Night – New York Season

by Walter Rutledge

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The Martha Graham Dance Company opening night gala performance need only be described with one word…ART. The company began their four-performance season at New York City Center, Wednesday, March 19 with an abbreviated program that left the audience hungry for more. Continue reading

Martha Graham Dance Company New York Season- March 19- 22, 2014

By Walter Rutledge

Graham 2014

The Martha Graham Dance Company will present their annual New York season, Wednesday, March 19 through Saturday March 22 at New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street. The season will celebrate two company milestones, the seventieth anniversary of the modern dance classic Appalachian Spring and the thirtieth anniversary of Graham’s The Rite of Spring. The season will also present two additional Graham masterworks Maple Leaf Rag and a new one-act production of Clytemnestra.   Continue reading