3/5/19 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Appalachian Spring- Martha Graham Dance Company

Shall We Dance Graham Letter to World 1

To celebrate the 93th Season of the Martha Graham Dance Company, April 2 through April 14 at the Joyce Theater, O&A NYC Magazine reposts Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring.

Appalachian Spring premiered on October 30th, 1944, at the Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium in Washington DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. Created during the darkest days of War World II Graham wanted to create inspiring art that came out of the American experience.  Graham spoke of the work, “To be great art… it must belong to the country in which it flourishes, not be a pale copy of some art form perfected by another culture and another people”. Continue reading

4/17/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Janet Eilber Discusses Appalachian Spring

By Walter Rutledge

Janet Eilber discusses Appalachian Spring -Graham 90th Season (1) 2016

During a recent interview with Martha Graham Dance Company Artistic Director Janet Eilber we discussed the collaboration between Martha Graham   and Isamu Noguchi on Appalachian Spring. AppalachianSpring1

Graham and Noguchi worked together over 20 sets for Graham over the course of three decades, including those for her series based on Greek myths; Cave of the Heart (1946), Errand into the Maze (1947), Night Journey (1947), Clytemnestra (1958), Alcestis (1960), Phaedra (1962), Circe (1963), and Cartege of Eagles (1966) Noguchi also designed the set for her biblical and religious themes, including Herodiade (1944), Judith (1950), Seraphic Dialogue (1955), and Embattled Garden (1958). Probably the most recognizable collaboration is for her movement manifesto on Americana Appalachian Spring (1944). 

Janet Eilber discusses Appalachian Spring

(Repost) April 1, 2014- Martha Graham: Appalachian Spring and Rite of Spring:

At first glance the Isamu Noguchi set, with its sparse flat look established the boundaries of the performance space. The “house” structure with the downstage “porch” set on a diagonal stops short of center stage. The flat fence placed downstage left, and the preacher’s pedestal set upstage on an angle from the fence completed the set design.

Graham Perspective

These configurations of objects create the converging lines; the lines that produce the classic perspective used by artists to direct the eye in paintings. Noguchi’s house mimics Brunelleschi’s drawing of perspective almost exactly. This is not an accident, but a conscience decision by Noguchi and Graham to subtly frame the choreography.

Most of the primary action takes place within the converging lines. Very little group choreography is designed behind the fence and nothing is set stage right of the house. Without obvious overkill Graham was able to effectively direct the viewer’s eye the primary movement conversion.

The close proximity of the downstage porch and fence to the audience builds closeness/empathy for the characters (especially the husband and wife). When these characters look out past the audience we can see the splendor of the open prairie on their faces. And we see it in the glorious “Technicolor” of our individual imaginations.

The universality of the experience extends beyond the American Prairie. This is the story of new beginnings, the optimism of youth, and the promise/hope for the future. Graham’s technical prowess creates a clear and unfettered moving picture, combine this with her ability to convey the humanistic elements of her characters and it becomes apparent why the public has endeared Appalachian Spring for over 70 years.

(REPOST) 4/12/16 Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Martha Graham Dance Company- Appalachian Spring

Graham Letter to World 1

To celebrate the 90th Anniversary Season of the Martha Graham Dance Company April 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th at New York City Center O&A NYC Magazine reposts Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring.

Appalachian Spring premiered on October 30th, 1944, at the Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium in Washington DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. Created during the darkest days of War World II Graham wanted to create inspiring art that came out of the American experience.  Graham spoke of the work, “To be great art… it must belong to the country in which it flourishes, not be a pale copy of some art form perfected by another culture and another people”. 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/

 

 

(REPOST) 2/6/15 SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Appalachian Spring- Celebrating the 90 Anniversary of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Shall We Dance Graham Letter to World 1

To celebrate the 90th Anniversary Season of the Martha Graham Dance Company April 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th at New York City Center O&A NYC Magazine reposts Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring.

Appalachian Spring premiered on October 30th, 1944, at the Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium in Washington DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. Created during the darkest days of War World II Graham wanted to create inspiring art that came out of the American experience.  Graham spoke of the work, “To be great art… it must belong to the country in which it flourishes, not be a pale copy of some art form perfected by another culture and another people”. Continue reading

Martha Graham: Appalachian Spring and Rite of Spring

By Walter Rutledge

appalachian-spring

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