Although Isadora Duncan is commonly considered to be the mother of modern dance, it was Martha Graham who really popularized the form with her prolific career and her philosophy that “dance is the hidden language of the Soul.”
During her lifetime (1894-1991), Graham choreographed 181 works, all inspired by a central tenet: “We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.”
Continuing in her footsteps, the Martha Graham Dance Company—founded in 1926—travels the globe spreading Graham’s ingenious spirit toward art in our daily lives. During this tour, the company will be performing a selection of her most significant works, mixed with a number of pieces choreographed by longtime collaborators and students.
On the bill for the evening is Prelude and Revolt: Denishawn to Graham (1906-1936), Lamentation Variations (2007), Errand Into the Maze (1947) and one of Graham’s most iconic masterworks, Appalachian Spring (1944, pictured). As a nod to the importance of Graham’s choreography and technique in the academic halls of dance, the University of Utah’s Performing Dance Company will also perform a classic piece, Panorama (1935).
The fact that MGDC is both the longest running and most-lauded modern-dance organization in the world is a testament to just how fundamental Graham’s legacy is to the art form.