Martha Graham Dance Company Repertory

The repertory of 2012-2013 offers moving and authentic Graham experiences for a range of audiences and venues. Classic works by Graham are enhanced by new pieces by today’s most exciting choreographers and directors. Programs available include the company’s popular thematic programming, some performances using media and narration, as well as Essential Graham programs for smaller venues. The company also regularly customizes programs for a specific venue, an anniversary or campus-wide theme drawing from the classic rep.

Touring programs for 2012-13 to be designed from our current repertory. Some of the dances listed below are not available.

Acts of Light (1981)

A glorious neoclassic work in three parts: “Conversation of Lovers,” ”Lament,” and “Ritual to the Sun.” Score: Carl Neilsen – Costumes: Halston – Dancers in this clip: Peggy Lyman, George White, Jr., and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

American Document (2010)

A provocative, contemporary theater piece using spoken work and movement to evoke the essences of America, created in collaboration with Ann Bogart, Charles Mee Jr. and SITI Company. Lighting: Brian H. Scott Score: soundscape by Darron L. West– Costumes: James Schuette – Dancers in this clip: members of the Martha Graham Dance Company and SITI Company

Appalachian Spring (1944)

Graham’s beloved masterwork and “a testimony to the simple fineness of the human spirit.” Score: Aaron Copland – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Katherine Crockett, Miki Orihara, Tadej Brdnik, and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Cave of the Heart (1946)

A shattering study of the destructive power of love inspired by the story of Medea. Score: Samuel Barber – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Elizabeth Auclair, David Zurak, Katherine Crockett, and Yuko

Chronicle (1936)

Graham’s stirring response to the rise of fascism in 1936 and to the unmatched power of the collective will. Music: Wallingford Riegger – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Blakeley White-McGuire, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Clytemnestra (1958)

Graham’s masterpiece of contemporary theater and her only full-evening work, the characters and tragedy of the Trojan War resonate with today’s themes. Music: Halim El Dahm – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham and Helen McGehee – Dancer in this clip: Fang-Yi Sheu

Dance is a Weapon (2010)

A multi-media montage connects five seminal works from the 1930s and explores the political context surrounding early modern dance with stirring relevance to today’s most pressing social issues. Choreography: Duncan, Maslow, Gentry, Dudley, Graham — Music and Costumes: various – Dancers in this clip: Samuel Pott, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Maurizio Nardi, Lloyd Knight, Jennifer DePalo, and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Dark Meadow (1946)

One of Graham’s most psychological and abstract works, and noted for its extraordinarily poignant and intricate work for the danced chorus. Music: Carlos Chavez – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Takako Asakawa, David Walker

Deaths and Entrances (1943)

A prime example of Graham’s early psychological works, the dance is inspired by the lives of the three Brontë sisters and the struggle of women to follow their deepest impulses in the face of convention and tradition. Music: Hunter Johnson – Set: Arch Lauterer – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Miki Orihara, Katherine Crockett, Virginie Mecene, and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Deep Song (1937)

A deeply resonant response to the Spanish Civil War, a cry of anguish, this solo is an embodiment of Graham’s fears for a world torn apart by man’s inhumanity to man. Music: Henry Cowell – Set: Graham – Costume: Graham – Dancer in this clip: Christine Dakin

Diversion of Angels (1948)

An ensemble work for the company and a joyous, lyrical, abstract essay on the infinite aspects of love. Music: Norman Dello Joio – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Katherine Crockett, Samuel Pott, Jacqueline Bulnes, Xiaochuan Xie, and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

El Penitente (1940)

With a modernist style evoking primitive or naïve art come to life, this dramatization is based on the rituals of the American Southwest. We see a troupe of strolling players enact vignettes from the Bible. Music: Louis Horst – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Dancers in this clip: Maurizio Nardi, Blakeley White-McGuire, and Ben Schultz

Embattled Garden (1958)

A contemporary take on the Garden of Eden and a frankly erotic romp, this tragi-comedy explores the timelessness of temptation. Music: Carlos Surinach – Sets: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Maurizio Nardi, Tadej Brdnik, and Mariya Dashkina Maddux

Errand into the Maze (1947)

Loosely derived from the myth of Theseus, who journeys into the labyrinth to confront the Minotaur, this duet sends a woman on the mission. The maze may be her own mind and the confrontation may be with her own fears. Music: Gian Carlo Menotti – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Miki Orihara and Ben Schultz

Heretic

A fine example of Graham’s earliest revolutionary modernism and her recurring theme of the struggle for individuality. Music: traditional folk song – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Martha Graham and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Inner Landscape

Programs that highlight the most celebrated psychological Graham masterworks. A range of the Graham repertory is available for inclusion. The programs open with a film montage that meshes rare footage of Graham with images relating to the fascination with psychology from popular culture. – Dancers in this clip: members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Lamentation (1930)

Graham’s signature solo — the essence of grief itself. Music: Kodaly – Set: Graham – Costume: Graham – Dancer in this clip: Janet Eilber

Lamentation Variations

Short works for the company inspired by Graham’s iconic solo and created by some of today’s most note-worthy choreographers. A film of Graham is followed by three variations from among those by Aszure Barton, Larry Keigwin, Lar Lubovitch, Josie Moseley, Richard Move, Bulareyaung Pagarlava, Yvonne Rainer and Doug Varone. Music and Costumes: various – Dancers in this clip: Miki Orihara, Katherine Crockett, and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Maple Leaf Rag (1990)

An instant audience favorite and a humorous and loving tribute to the choreographic muse and the
music of Graham’s youth. Music: Scott Joplin – Set: American Folk Art – Costumes: Calvin Klein – Dancers in this clip: Blakeley White-McGuire and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Night Journey (1947)

One of Graham’s greatest masterworks. A chilling reinvention of the tragedy of Oedipus told through the eyes of his mother and wife, Jocasta. Music: William Schumann – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Katherine Crockett, Jennifer DePalo, and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Panorama (1935)

A rallying cry for social activism created for 33 students and often performed with MGDC as part of “Prelude and Revolt” or “Dance is a Weapon” by students at the University where the MGDC is touring. Music: Norman Lloyd – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: members of Graham II and New York City student dancers

Phaedra (1962)

A reflection on “the truth about physical passion, untempered by conscience, decency, or civilized principles” based on the Greek tragedy of the queen who lusted after her step-son, Music: Robert Starer – Set: Isamu Noguchi – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Martha Graham and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Prelude and Revolt: Denishawn to Graham (1906–1936)

A suite of dances connected with narration and media that traces the emergence of Graham’s unique theater and distinctive movement vocabulary from Denishawn beginnings to the explosive imagery of “Steps in the Street” from 1936. Choreography: Shawn, Graham – Music: various – Costumes: various – Dancers in this clip: Tadej Brdnik, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, and Blakeley White-McGuire

Primitive Mysteries (1931)

A stark, modern abstraction of religious ritual born out of Graham’s deep connection with the ceremonies of the natives of the American southwest. The work was hailed as a masterpiece at its premiere and launched Graham as a major force in American art. Music: Louis Horst – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Yuriko and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Satyric Festival Song (1932)

An early, witty solo in which Graham mocks her own serious reputation. Music: Fernando Palacios – Costume: Graham – Dancer in this clip: Fang-Yi Sheu

Serenata Morisca (1916)

A solo created by Graham’s teacher, Ted Shawn, and a prime example of American dance in the early 20thCentury – the sort of dance against which Graham rebelled. Choreography: Ted Shawn, reconstructed by Martha Graham — Lighting: Thomas Skelton — Music: Mario Tarenghi – Costume: Martha Graham (after Pearl Wheeler) – Dancer in this clip: Blakeley White-McGuire

Snow on the Mesa (1995)

A magical evocation of Graham as an artist by Robert Wilson, and a dance/theater piece in twelve sections which uses abstract forms and movements to recall the American images that gave meaning to Martha’s work and her life: elements from Shaker life, and the deserts of the American southwest, the designs and myths of its aboriginal inhabitants. Direction: Robert Wilson – Set: Robert Wilson – Lighting; AJ Weissbard — Costumes: Donna Karan – Dancers in this clip: Tadej Brdnik, Xiaochuan Xie, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Katherine Crockett, and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company

Steps in the Street (1936)

A stark, explosive response to the devastation and isolation that war leave in its wake. Performed separately or as the center section of Graham’s “Chronicle.” Music: Wallingford Reigger – Costumes: Graham – Dancers in this clip: Denise Vale and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company