Stretch Your Cultural Muscles in New York
Story by Ed Salvato; above: photo of dancer courtesy Martha Graham Dance Company
Founded in 1926 by world-famous dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, the Martha Graham Dance Company is the oldest contemporary dance company in America. The visionary Ms. Graham helped radically transform the notion of dance from the staid, froufrou balletic forms of the day to physically demanding and politically relevant works performed by both women and men.
The Martha Graham Dance Company will present eight performances at the Joyce Theater in Chelsea of four remarkable programs, each combining new commissions with classics, with some combining music ,spoken word, and other audio-visual elements. The company includes both men and women from all over the world.
Artistic Director Janet Eilber says, "We are highlighting the era of the 1930s when the nascent art form of American modern dance was fueled by the political and social activism of the times" with themes that aligned modern dance to the complex social concerns of the day including the financial crisis civil rights and the rise of fascism. Sound familiar? These themes could also be ripped from today's headlines.