Santa Barbara Dance Theater; Photo by Brandon Whited
Santa Barbara Dance Theater; Photo by Brandon Whited

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The Dance Enthusiast's Social Distance Dance Video Series: The Martha Graham Company Shares the Light

The Dance Enthusiast's Social Distance Dance Video Series: The Martha Graham Company Shares the Light
Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram

By Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram
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Published on March 31, 2020
MGDC in "Rite of Spring"; Photo by Melissa Sherwood

"Sharing Light" Excerpts of Martha Graham's "Acts of Light"

As we disinfect, wash our hands, and attempt to stay as spiritually and physically fit as possible, it is especially heartening to see members of our dance community responding so beautifully to the  COVID-19 crisis.

A plethora of positive videos, short performances, and online classes in dance, yoga, and meditation are filling up the social media channels.  

Many have shared their offerings in our listings, and we continually add to our article on online classes,  but I urge you, in addition, to  look around at what our community's other publications are posting, as well as your trusty  YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook channels. Do you get Doug Post's wonderful weekly emails? Check him out too.  Always look to Dance/NYC and Dance/USA for guidance re services for artists.

The Dance Enthusiast is grateful for the energy of our dancers, especially now.

The Martha Graham Company, the oldest American modern dance company,  is another one of New York City's classic modern dance companies whose gala season -- a huge source of income for dance companies--  has been shifted.  (Not sure as yet if it is cancelled or postponed.) We were scheduled to cover the company this month at City Center and were so looking forward to it.

In the video above the current  Martha Graham Dance Company continues to use their talent to remind us of the indomitable community spirit of dancers.  It seems NOTHING  can suppress it.

Be healthy everyone. 

Our hearts are with you and we look forward to being in the same room with you soon!


Enjoy  the  below excerpts of past Dance Enthusiast coverage of the Martha Graham Dance Company


From a 2019  IMPRESSION called:

DANCING WITH HISTORY IN SPACETIME: Martha Graham Dance Company at The Joyce Theater and Stephen Petronio Company at Skirball Center by Christine Jowers

with excerpts from our 2014 Dance Up Close video coverage for entire Dance Up Close Graham click here

"...We can read about these dances, or perhaps see them in films. We might talk to people who danced in them or choreographed them (if they are still alive). Historians, critics, and philosophers can add dimensions to our understanding. Still nothing beats the thrill of time traveling with artists who are equipped and ready to take us on the journey. Dance was meant to be danced, baby...

Katherine Crockett on Dancing Graham's choreography

..Here, dancers express inner passions exploding from their core with a kaleidoscope of emotions. The world is set for dramatic narrative, populated by characters from Greek mythology, Americana, literature, and religion. If dancers don’t embody a character per se, they enliven a theme: for example, "Red Love," in Diversion of Angels (1948). 

By the way, any story that traditionally cast a male figure as its center re-emerges as a tale whose star is WOMAN (and why not?)

The concrete nature and symbolism of the classic Graham works connect us to universal ideas and passions. As distant as the Minotaur in Errand into the Maze (1947) might be from popular culture, we still identify with feeling trapped by monstrous forces. Understanding that struggle, we root for the heroine to escape her labyrinth and conquer the beast.

Tadej Brdnik and Blakeley White- McGuire discuss an experimental shorter  re-staging of Graham's three-hour Clytemnestra ballet 

Because Graham technique emanates from the gut, we feel it in ours. When danced by emotionally and physically invested artists, we discover new layers to savor. PeiJu Chien-Pott, Xin Ying, and Charlotte Landreau as the female Theseus, with Ben Schultz and Lloyd Mayor as the Minotaur, transport us with electric performances of Errand. Chien-Pott, Ying, Natasha Diamond-Walker, and Anne Souder give striking interpretations in Hérodiade (1944.) The Martha Graham Dance Company of 2019 looks in tip-top form, every single one of them. These people make dancing through time a most excellent voyage...

Janet Eilber, MGDC’s visionary, shares fresh perspectives on Graham, classical modern dance’s mother.

On the tails of the women’s marches of 2017 and ’18, amid world discussions of feminism for the 21st century, we are asked to consider Graham as a voice of female strength, a beacon of inspiration for the ages alongside, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gloria Steinem, Maya Angelou, and the like.

Tadej Brdnik and Blakeley McGuire on dancing non-Graham work 2014

To keep our eyes open to the past’s reverberations in the present, Eilber asks leading contemporary choreographers, to converse with the wealth of Graham’s legacy. This year Bobbi Jene Smith with Maxine Doyle and Pam Tanowitz shared their takes..." for more click to the original article.


Do you have a favorite video you would like to share with The Dance Enthusiast audience?  During this time of distancing we can still #getenthused and connect to one another and  to our dance passion online.

Please share a link to your video and any commentary you have about it, or  what it means to you to info@dance-enthusiast.com.


The Dance Enthusiast’s DAY IN THE LIFE covers the stories behind dance/performance and creates conversation. For more behind-the-scenes stories from NYC and beyond, click here.


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