Martha Graham Dance Company Celebrates 90th Anniversary
On Monday, April 18, the Martha Graham Dance Company celebrated its 90th anniversary with a special Gala performance at New York City Center followed by dinner and dancing for 250 guests at a private venue in Manhattan.
The evening celebrated the indelible impact Martha Graham's choreography has had on the American cultural landscape as well as the Company's present and future vision built on this incomparable legacy. The Gala program featured works from 1926 to 2016, including Graham's solos Tanagra and Lamentation, her masterwork Chronicle, and an all-male version of Celebration, along with the New York premiere of Woodland by acclaimed Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg. Special guest Aurélie Dupont, a former étoile with the Paris Opera Ballet and its new director, performed selections from two other Graham masterpieces, Appalachian Spring and Acts of Light. Guests were also treated to a preview of a highly anticipated biography of Martha Graham by Neil Baldwin being published by Knopf.
The event was co-chaired by Amy and Philip Blumenthal, Audra D. Cohen and Eric Cohen, Richard Hayes and Peggy Lyman Hayes, Christine Jowers and Robert L. Friedman, Abby Meiselman and Kenneth Bloom, Jayne Millard, Judith and Herbert S. Schlosser, and Inger K. Witter.
The festive evening was attended by artists and longtime supporters of the Company, including Legacy Honorees Patricia Birch, Linda Hodes, and Stuart Hodes (all first generation Graham dancers); Paul F. Kilmer of Holland & Knight, Lee L. Traub (Chair Emerita of the Martha Graham Dance Company), Emil Kang (Executive and Artistic Director, Carolina Performing Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Joan K. Davidson (President Emeritus, J.M. Kaplan Fund), Anna Campbell (Program Officer, Howard Gilman Foundation), Nils Morgan (grandson of photographer Barbara Morgan), Kenneth Fischer (President, University Musical Society, University of Michigan), Jenny Dixon (Director, The Noguchi Museum), and Richard Kessler (Dean of the Mannes School of Music at the New School). Shelley and Donald Rubin (philanthropists and founders, The Rubin Museum of Art) were also in attendance.
Janet Eilber, Artistic Director; LaRue Allen, Executive Director
Principal Dancers: PeiJu Chien-Pott, Lloyd Knight, Ben Schultz, Blakeley White-McGuire
Soloists: Abdiel Jacobsen, Ari Mayzick, Xin Ying
Dancers: Charlotte Landreau, Lloyd Mayor, Lauren Newman, Anne O'Donnell, Lorenzo Pagano, Konstantina Xintara
New Dancers: Laurel Dalley Smith, Anne Souder, Leslie Andrea Williams
The Martha Graham Dance Company has been a leader in the development of contemporary dance since its founding in 1926. Today, the Company is embracing a new programming vision that showcases masterpieces by Graham alongside newly commissioned works by contemporary artists. With programs that unite the work of choreographers across time within a rich historical and thematic narrative, the Company is actively working to create new platforms for contemporary dance and multiple points of access for audiences.
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. For more information, visit: www.marthagraham.org.