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Martha Graham Dance Company Performs at The Soraya Next Month

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The performance takes place on Friday, November 19.

Martha Graham Dance Company Performs at The Soraya Next Month

On Friday, November 19, The Soraya presents the Martha Graham Dance Company, lead by artistic director Janet Eilber, performing on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of its signature work Appalachian Spring, to its original Pulitzer Prize winning score by Aaron Copland performed live by Wild Up, conducted by musical director Christopher Rountree.

The set is by Graham's longtime collaborator Isamu Noguchi. NPR said Appalachian Spring is, "one of the milestones of the millennium ... a celebration of the Americana spirit." Wild Up is Rountree's excitingly modern ensemble of classical musicians that play with raucous energy that The New York Times calls "irresistibly exuberant."

The performance also includes Immediate Tragedy, originally choreographed by Graham and now considered "lost" and reimagined by Janet Eilber to music by Christopher Rountree. A digital version of Immediate Tragedy was commissioned by The Soraya and presented in June 2020 in an ongoing collaboration with Martha Graham Dance Company and the Los Angeles based Wild Up music collective. The November 19 performance at The Soraya also includes the West Coast Premiere of Andrea Miller's new Scavengers to music of Will Epstein, and Graham's classic Division of Angels to music of Norman Dello Joio.

Thor Steingraber, The Soraya's Executive and Artistic Director said, "Martha Graham Dance Company invented 20th century dance as we know it today with works like Appalachian Spring and Division of Angels and is led by Janet Eilber who continues its legacy. As we celebrate our tenth, one of the collaborations I am most proud of is that between The Soraya, the Graham company, and Wild Up, one of today's most important new music ensembles, led by Christopher Rountree. Our digital creation of Immediate Tragedy in June 2020 was inspired by Martha Graham's now mostly lost work about the Spanish Civil War. Graham's own words at the time 'I was upright and determined to stay upright at all costs' was inspirational in that moment when the pandemic and Black Lives Matter were dominating the news."

Steingraber continued, "We are proud that a new creation 'reimagined' by Eilber and Rountree, is entering the Graham repertory. Wild Up has been a frequent guest at The Soraya including participating in The Age of Adams, our 70th birthday celebration of John Adams, and inaugurating our intimate on-stage classical performances. And separate from The Soraya, as a result of our introductions, the Graham Company and Rountree collaborated on performances of Appalachian Spring and The Rite of Spring at Opéra National de Paris."

As The Soraya starts its eleventh season in Spring 2022, Martha Graham Dance Company and Wild Up return March 19 with the world premiere of Canticle for Innocent Comedians to an original score by jazz pianist Jason Moran. This new Canticle is Inspired by the themes and format of Graham's 1952 work, which was built around eight virtuosic vignettes that each celebrated a different aspect of nature and our relationship to it. Though the work was well received there is little record of it and it is considered lost. The new series of vignettes will be created by eight different choreographers of diverse dance backgrounds.

Tickets for Martha Graham Dance Company start at $41 and are available at www.thesoraya.org and by calling 818-677-3000. The Soraya is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330.


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