The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents the iconic Martha Graham Dance Company in a performance of solos and duets, Thursday, December 10 at 7 PM. This is an original, live event performed on the Annenberg Center stage and streamed online.
Dancers Lloyd Knight and Xin Ying perform a program of excerpts from Graham’s seminal Appalachian Spring, Dark Meadow Suite and Satyric Festival Song, as well as the full solo work, Lamentation, intermixed with dramatic archival footage. This showcase of Graham’s signature choreographic style illustrates why the Martha Graham Dance Company is one of the most celebrated contemporary dance companies on the planet. The program concludes with an interactive Q&A with the dancers and Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of Martha Graham Dance Company.
Martha Graham has had a deep and lasting impact on American art and culture. She singlehandedly defined contemporary dance as a uniquely American art form, which the nation has in turn shared with the world. Crossing artistic boundaries, she collaborated with and commissioned work from the leading visual artists, musicians and designers of her day, including sculptor Isamu Noguchi and composers Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti.
Graham’s groundbreaking style grew from her experimentation with the elemental movements of contraction and release. By focusing on the basic activities of the human form, she enlivened the body with raw, electric emotion. The sharp, angular and direct movements of her technique were a dramatic departure from the predominant style of the time.
Graham influenced generations of choreographers that included Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp, altering the scope of dance. Classical ballet dancers Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov sought her out to broaden their artistry. Artists of all genres were eager to study and work with Graham—she taught actors including Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Gregory Peck, Tony Randall, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson and Joanne Woodward to utilize their bodies as expressive instruments.
During her long and illustrious career, Graham created 181 dance compositions. During the Bicentennial, she was granted the United States’ highest civilian honor, The Medal of Freedom. In 1998, TIME Magazine named her the “Dancer of the Century.” The first dancer to perform at the White House and to act as a cultural ambassador abroad, she captured the spirit of a nation. “No artist is ahead of his time,” she said. “He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time.”
Martha Graham Dance Company
Thursday, December 10, 7 PM
Visit AnnenbergCenter.org to purchase access to this show until 7:30 PM on December 10.
The performance may be watched live at 7 PM on December 10 to participate in the chat and artist Q&A.
It will be available on-demand to ticketholders through December 12.
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- The Annenberg Center Presents Rennie Harris Puremovement in a Livestreamed Performance, April 1 - March 22, 2021