Martha Graham Dance Company Launches THE EVE PROJECT
In celebration of the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the power to vote, the Martha Graham Dance Company has created The EVE Project, a two-year initiative, which will be performed at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) on Saturday, March 2.
The evening will feature conductor Christopher Rountree and his path-breaking musical ensemble wild Up. Rountree and the Graham Company first paired at The Soraya in 2017 and made their Paris debuts in 2018 withRite of Spring.
The performance includes a world premiere by Bessie Award-winning choreographer Pam Tanowitz, Untitled (Souvenir) danced to Punctum and Valencia, string quartets by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. The work will have its New York premiere during the Company's two-week season at The Joyce Theater April 2-14,2019.
"The collaboration between the Martha Graham Company and wild Up two years ago was one of the most rewarding projects I've had the pleasure to bring to The Soraya," said Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of The Soraya. "Janet Eilber, director of the company, reminded me that Martha Graham traveled with musicians, performed with live music, and commissioned new orchestral pieces for many decades. In that spirit, it was important that The Soraya repeat the Graham and wild Up partnership this year by supporting a world premiere with live music."
Steingraber continued, "For this occasion, Eilber invited Pam Tanowitz, one of the world's most exciting choreographers, to choreograph to the music of Pulitzer-winning composer Caroline Shaw. wild Up conductor Christopher Rountree also shares a long-standing relationship with Shaw, making for a trio of unmatched talent. We're proud to launch The Eve Project, which will subsequently crisscross the globe and commemorate the centenary of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote."
The women who hit the streets for voting rights in 1920 forged a path still followed by the Women's March today. That 100-year history is celebrated by the Martha Graham Dance Company with a program featuring female protagonists, and including Chronicle, Graham's unforgettable 1936 anti-war masterpiece.
Martha Graham Dance Company's Artistic Director Janet Eilber said, "The EVE Project is intended to connect audiences - in the ephemeral and visceral way dance does - to both historical and contemporary ideas of the feminine."
This past summer, The New York Times hailed choreographer Pam Tanowitz' latest work, "dance theater of the highest caliber." For The EVE Project, Tanowitz draws on some of Graham's dances, including The Legend of Judith from 1967 and Dark Meadow (1946). Incorporating elements of the vocabulary and phrasing from Graham's work, Tanowitz takes the iconic movement and shapes it into something new. Costumes are by designers Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin of TOME.
Tanowitz was awarded a Bessie Award in 2009, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts award in 2010, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011, and the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2013-14. In 2016 Tanowitz was the Juried Bessie Award winner for her work the story progresses as if in a dream of glittering surfaces, and a recipient of a National Dance Project production grant for her work New Work for Goldberg Variations, a collaboration with pianist Simone Dinnerstein. In 2017 Tanowitz was the recipient of the Baryshnikov Arts Center's prestigious Cage Cunningham Fellowship. Her work was selected by the New York Times "Best of Dance" series in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Tanowitz has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Bard Summerscape Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, New York Live Arts, the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and Peak Performances, among others. She has also created or set work on the Juilliard School, Ballet Austin, New York Theater Ballet, and Saint Louis Ballet. In 2000, she founded Pam Tanowitz Dance to explore dance-making with a consistent community of dancers. Tanowitz holds dance degrees from Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College, and currently teaches at Rutgers University.
The EVE Project program also features a range of Graham's own works including Chronicle with music by Wallingford Riegger (1936) which has social activism embodied in the cast of 11 powerful women, and the original Secular Games, not been seen in decades, offering a wry look at sexual politics with music by Robert Starer (1962).
Also included is Pontus Lindberg's Woodland (2016), a whimsical piece set to string music by Irving Fine. Graham's American Document to music of William Schuman (1938) will open the program performed by students from throughout the area
Single tickets start at $39. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit The Soraya or call 818-677-3000. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330. Ticket prices subject to change. A somewhat different Eve Project Program will be presented at Irvine Barclay Theatre on Wednesday, February 27. For tickets and information please visit TheBarclay.org or call (949) 854-4646 x1.
Photo: Leslie Andrea Williams in Martha Graham's "Chronicle") Photo: Hibbard Nash Photography