Juilliard Dance Tackles Masterworks

Tiare Keeno and Jeffery Duffy in Martha Graham's Dark Meadow. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Martha Graham's Dark Meadow and Merce Cunningham's Biped are performed by Juilliard students. Every Spring, Juilliard’s dance students pass through a compelling ordeal and emerge as artists just beginning to come into full bloom. The ordeal is really an awakening. A work by a major choreographer is auditioned for, learned, rehearsed, and performed. The dancers come to understand how great … [Read more...]

Martha Graham and her Heritage

Lloyd Knight and opening night guest artist, ABT's Misty Copeland in At Summer's Full, a rendition of elements from Graham's Letter to the World. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

The Martha Graham Dance Company brings new and old works to the Joyce. I only recently realized that Martha Graham must have been choreographing her evening-length Clytemnestra and Embattled Garden at more or less the same time. Both premiered during her company’s 1958 season. Perhaps she needed a respite from the marital quarrels, passions, and jealousies that precipitated the Trojan War. … [Read more...]

The New in the Old, The Old in the New

Daniel Fetecua Soto and Elise Drew Leon in Sean Curran's Nocturnes for Ancestors. Photo Joseph Schembri

The Limon Dance Company performs at the Joyce; Miki Orihara debuts a solo program. It was several days after I saw the Limón Dance Company at the Joyce Theater that I suddenly discerned subtle connections among the four works on the program that artistic director Carla Maxwell put together for the company’s 68th anniversary—two by company founder José Limón (1908-1972) and two new works, … [Read more...]

Another Rite

Martha Graham's Rite of Spring. Abdiel Jacobsen (L) and Lloyd Mayor lift Xiaochuan Xie as the Chosen One. The Shaman (Ben Schultz) watches. Photo: Charles Eilber, courtesy of the Martha Graham Dance Company.

The Martha Graham Dance Company dances The Rite of Spring and Nacho Duato's Rust at Jacob’s Pillow, August 21-25. I like to imagine that at least once a month this year, somewhere in the world, a dance company and/or an orchestra has been thundering away at Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece Le Sacre du Printemps, Obviously, I’m no statistician, but it does seem that, in 2013, the centenary of … [Read more...]

Women in Distress

Members of RIOULT Dance New York in Pascal Rioult's Bolero. Photo: Basil Childers

RIOULT Dance New York premieres "Iphigenia" at the Joyce Theater, June 5 through 9. Pascal Rioult was an important member of Martha Graham’s company during the last part of her life. Three years after her death in 1991, he founded RIOULT Dance New York and built it into a prospering entity, with performances in the U.S. and abroad, a wide-ranging outreach program to introduce children and … [Read more...]

Looking Back, Journeying Forward

Miki Ohara costumed for Martha Graham's Errand into the Maze. Photo: John Deane

The Martha Graham Company, aged 87, is a determined survivor. It has soldiered on past the death of its sole choreographer in 1991, the sale of its 63rd Street building, and a lawsuit over its rights to Graham’s dances. Then, not long after the company took over the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s studios in Westbeth, hurricane Sandy caused flooding in the basement storage space and damaged sets, … [Read more...]

Re-entering Martha’s Inner Landscapes

AJ CIRCUS Lloyd Knight Xiaochuan Xie3

The program that the Martha Graham Dance Company presented on the opening night of its Joyce Theater season (March 13 through 18) concluded with a gripping performance of Graham’s 1947 masterwork Night Journey. The audience clapped and cheered and rose to its feet. In my heart, I muttered, “That’ll show them.”  Show whom what?  Show the world? Show the directors of the company that audiences can … [Read more...]