JANET EILBER, Inger K. Witter Artistic Director
Janet Eilber has been Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance Company since 2005. Her creative curation has pioneered new forms of audience access to the Graham legacy. These diverse initiatives include her popular spoken introductions, thematic programming, unusual educational and cultural partnerships, licensing of the Graham classics to schools and professional companies, the use of new media and technology, commissions for today’s top choreographers and a wide range of creative events such as the Lamentation Variations, The 19 Poses, All-City Panorama and the Clytemnestra Remash Challenge. Ms. Eilber has reconstructed the lost Graham solos Satyric Festival Song and Immediate Tragedy and remixed Graham choreography for productions of The Bacchae and Prometheus Bound at the Teatro Greco in Siracusa, Italy, and for an upcoming production, The Feast with the Long Beach Opera starring renowned countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński.
Ms. Eilber is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she was mentored by teachers of the Graham and Limón legacies and directed by José Limón in several of his classics. While still at Juilliard, she was invited to join the Graham Company where she worked closely with Martha Graham for almost a decade. She danced many of Graham’s greatest roles, had roles created for her by Graham, and was directed by Graham in most of the major roles of the repertory. She soloed at the White House, was partnered by Rudolf Nureyev, starred in three segments of Dance in America, and worked with Graham’s major collaborators such as Isamu Noguchi, Aaron Copland and Halston. She has since taught, lectured, and directed Graham ballets internationally for companies such as the Dutch National Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet.
Apart from her work with Graham, Ms. Eilber has co-starred in films such as Whose Life is it Anyway? with Richard Dreyfuss, and Romantic Comedy with Dudley Moore. She was featured in several television series in the 1980s, and danced and acted on and off Broadway directed by such greats as Agnes DeMille and Bob Fosse. For her performance in Stepping Out directed by Tommy Tune, she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Featured Actress in a Play. Ms. Eilber received four Lester Horton Awards for her reconstruction and performance of seminal American modern dance. She served as Director of Arts Education for the Dana Foundation, guiding the Foundation’s support for Teaching Artist training and contributing regularly to its publications. She is a Trustee Emeritus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts and was recently honored with a Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Juilliard School.
At the 2022 celebration of the 50th anniversary of her first performance with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Ms. Eilber received a congratulatory letter from President and First Lady Biden saluting her half-century contribution to the arts in America. She is married to screenwriter/NYU professor John Warren, with whom she has two daughters, Madeline and Eva.