“Steps in the Street” premiered at the Guild Theater in New York City on December 20, 1936 as one section of a larger work, Chronicle. The dance was a response to the menace of fascism in Europe. Earlier that year, Graham had refused an invitation to take part in the 1936 Olympic Games in Germany, stating: “I would find it impossible to dance in Germany at the present time. So many artists whom I respect and admire have been persecuted, have been deprived of the right to work for ridiculous and unsatisfactory reasons, that I should consider it impossible to identify myself, by accepting the invitation, with the regime that has made such things possible. In addition, some of my concert group would not be welcomed in Germany” (a reference to the fact that many members of her group were Jewish).  “Steps in the Street”, subtitled “Devastation – Homelessness – Exile”, depicts the isolation and desolation that war leaves in its wake.