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...]