MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE CO
October 18, 2020
Many dance companies shifted from the "live dance performance" format to the on-line viewing of company offerings. This change hasn't stopped artists from creating new works, but this virtual medium is particularly effective when presenting archival works by groundbreaking artists.
Th Graham Company's series of on-line programs serve to broaden Graham's biography as well as the tenets of her technique and aesthetics. In the most recent October event, viewers witnessed Graham coaching her company members in the art of her renown work Lamentation. Not only does she discuss the precision of each step, Graham invests each movement with an image or an emotion. For instance she associates the rocking motion with the loss of an infant. Of course, Lamentation expresses profound loss. Watching Graham perform the work underscored the intensity of her choreographic courage and focus.
In response to Hitler's invitation to perform at the Olympics, Graham said "no" and amplified her sentiments through one of dance's most potent anti-war creations called Chronicle. The powerful women of 1936 are seen in archival footage followed by current Graham dancers performing one of the sections --Prelude to Action-- a perfect comment on today's political affairs.
This opportunity to both hear Director Janel Eilber speak fluently about Graham's life and see the actual dances serves the historian, student and dance lover in everyone.
EYE ON THE ARTS/NY -- Celia Ipiotis