4/4/20 O&A NYC SATURDAY MORNING CONCERT: Appalachian Spring

Graham Letter to World 1

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

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

(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

2/17/15 O&A Reposted: Lloyd Knight 2012 Conversation

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LLOYD KNIGHT

During the 2012 New York City season of the Martha Graham Dance Company soloist Lloyd Knight was recovering from an injury. His name was listed in the program, but Knight was unable to perform. After a year of rigorous therapy his persistence and patience paid off and by the summer of 2012 Knight was again in rehearsal. Continue reading

(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

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

Lloyd Knight: Martha Graham Dance Company- originally posted February 29, 2012

By Walter Rutledge

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Martha Graham once said, “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” The reason truly memorable performances reach across the footlight to connect with the audience, is because the performer is imbued with something extra. It is an almost unexplainable sharing that takes place from one soul, one spirit, to the members of audience. It is an honesty that transcends artistic discipline, language and occasionally even time. When I think of artists who have this special gift of communication, I think of Lloyd Knight

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Knight is a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company. During his seven-year association with the company he has demonstrated a stalwart commitment and dedication to his craft and artistry. He returns to the stage this season after a year of recovering from an injury. Knight approached his physical rehabilitation with same resolute determination that has distinguished him as an artist on the ascent, and he is back this season performing the choreography he describes simply as “art”.

Born in England Knight was reared in Miami, Florida. In middle school a teacher got him to try a dance class, and he was hooked. He trained at the Miami Conservatory of Ballet, and later attended the renowned New World School of the Arts where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Knight adapted well to the long hours and rigorous training at New World School of the Arts, and he performed leading roles in Jose Limon’s There is a Time, Merce Cunningham’s Inlets II, and Donald McKayle’s Rainbow ’Round My Shoulder. It was also at the New World School of the Arts he was introduced to the choreography and technique of Martha Graham.

His strong technique, pliant physique and natural stage presence gave him the opportunity to excel in many styles of dance; but his inner muse was drawn to Graham. He auditioned for the Graham Company while a senior at New World School of the Arts, and literally walked down the aisle at graduation and into the Martha Graham Dance Company. Over the past seven years he has worked at mastering the Graham style with a passion it’s founder would have been proud to see.

In 2009 only four years after joining the company Knight was promoted to Soloist. He has performed in many of Graham’s seminal works including Errand into the Maze; and in the roles of the snake in Embattled Garden, and the preacher in what is perhaps Graham’s most recognizable work Appalachian Spring. It is little wonder that Dance Magazine named Knight one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch in 2010”.

The 2012 season of the Martha Graham Dance Company will begin on March 13 at the Joyce Theater. The company will revive Graham’s 1939 comic work Every Soul is a Circus. This work marked the first appearance of Merce Cunningham, who became the second male dancer (after Erick Hawkins) to join the Graham Company. In this season Knight will perform the role originally choreographed for Cunningham. Welcome back Lloyd Knight we wish you an inspired year, as we know your dancing will continue to inspire us.

(This article was originally posted February 29, 2012 for Harlem World Magazine)