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Indiana University Contemporary Dance Program to Restage Martha Graham's 'Panorama', Jan 2010


The Indiana University Contemporary Dance Program will restage Martha Graham's "Panorama" in January with the help of a $10,000 award from Dance/USA and the National Endowment for the Arts.

An American dancer and choreographer, Graham was an influential pioneer of modern dance. Sandra Kaufmann, a former Graham dancer from Chicago, worked with dancers in the IU Contemporary Dance Program this fall to restage the dance "Panorama," as part of the Contemporary Dance Program's annual concert, this year titled "The Legacy of Graham."

Upcoming events tied to the performance include a modern dance film series at the Monroe County Public Library; a gallery talk at the IU Art Museum; a pre-concert talk with David Hochoy, former Graham dancer and rehearsal director, and current artistic director of Indianapolis' Dance Kaleidoscope; dance classes and presentations in area schools; and an interdisciplinary panel of IU scholars who will discuss Graham's work.

"Panorama" was created in 1935 at Bennington College in Vermont during the "infamous" summer dance workshops where the great, original American modern dancers established their ideas in craft and technique. Modern dance was considered a revolutionary art form. Panorama, which originally was performed by 35 women wearing red dresses, is part of Graham's social protest repertory.

"Panorama" was essentially a 'call to action' for Americans to awaken their social consciousness," said Selene Carter, visiting guest lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "Graham and her peers were faced with the Great Depression and the struggles of African Americans, and other minority groups facing injustice and poverty. The stirrings of fascism at home and abroad were noted by these artists, and they felt that modern dance could be a voice and have an impact on the social ills of the time."

The School of HPER's Contemporary Dance Program has a long-standing commitment to produce and study historic American modern dance masterpieces. The program was chosen by a national panel of artists, historians and college faculty as one of 25 proposals to receive the $10,000 gift, awarded through the American Masterpieces: Dance -- College Component (AMDCC) program, which is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Dance/USA is the national service organization for professional dance. A significant component of the American Masterpieces program is sharing work with the community beyond the performance of the dance piece.  


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