Martha Graham Dance Company to Perform at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 11/8-9
The renowned Martha Graham Dance Company a leader in contemporary dance since 1926, will be the inaugural attraction of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in the Bram Goldsmith Theater on November 8 and 9, 2013.
The Graham Company has designed a festive inaugural program for the debut of The Wallis that will be performed by the 19 world-class dancers of the Graham Company. The performance will highlight Graham's beginnings in Los Angeles and showcase a range of her most popular masterworks. Prelude and Revolt, an event that uses dance, narration and media to chart the era of Graham's revolutionary discoveries, opens the program and includes a performance of Graham's iconic, signature solo Lamentation (1930), among other seminal works. Her comedic Maple Leaf Rag from 1990, the last work she choreographed, will also be part of the evening's celebration, and her stunning masterwork, Chronicle from 1936 will close the evening. Tickets are available by visiting www.thewallis.org.
Modern Dance was born in 1915 in a Spanish mansion high above the hilltops of Los Angeles, when dance pioneers Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn formed the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts, and students learned to discard the strict forms that had traditionally governed choreography. One of those students was Martha Graham, who in the course of the next 70 years, went on to revolutionize dance and theater worldwide. Considered on of the great creative geniuses of the 20th Century, Graham is often compared to Einstein, Picasso and Stravinsky because she made such radical change through the power of her discoveries.
Since its inception, the Martha Graham Dance Company has received international acclaim from audiences in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The Company has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House, Covent Garden, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as at the base of the Great Pyramids in Egypt and in the ancient Herod Atticus Theatre on the Acropolis in Athens. In addition, the Company has also produced several award-winning films broadcast on PBS and around the world. Today, the Company is embracing a new programming vision that showcases masterpieces by Graham using media, narration and contextual connections, and often includes newly commissioned work by contemporary artists. The Company is actively working to create new platforms for contemporary dance and multiple points of access for audiences. More information can be found at www.marthagraham.org.
In addition to the scheduled performances, a 90-minute master class on the Martha Graham technique will be offered on Saturday, November 9, from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. This workshop will look at the famed physical vocabulary created by Martha Graham. Led by Denise Vale, former star and current senior artistic associate of the Graham Dance Company, the master class is designed to give students insight into Graham's innovations and her concept of "contraction and release." This master class is for intermediate and advanced dancers (ages 15+). Previous study of the Graham technique is not required. The cost for the master class is $15.00 per person and is limited to 30 persons. The master class is available to purchase at www.thewallis.org.
Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) officially opens its doors to the public in October 2013 with a dedication and a series of Galas, followed by programming beginning November 8 with the Martha Graham Dance Company. This new venue transforms a Beverly Hills city block, facing Santa Monica Boulevard, between Crescent and Canon Drives, into a vibrant new cultural destination with two distinct, elegant buildings: the historic 1933 Italianate-style Beverly Hills Post Office (now the Paula Kent Meehan Historic Building) and the new, contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Goldsmith Theater.
Together these two structures embrace the city's history and future, creating a new cultural landmark. Within the treasured Post Office, existing spaces are re-imagined into the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, a theater school for young people (opening in 2014), a café and gift shop. The Wallis, the first performing arts center to be built in Beverly Hills, will be a home for artists from around the world and audiences of every age.
For its Inaugural Season, The Wallis will produce and present outstanding theater, music and dance, as well as exciting programming for the family audience. The venue will also enhance the live theater experience through special exhibitions that will reveal another layer of meaning to a show or presentation.