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Save the Date    2010  1  2 3  5 The Season-PB 
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Black Tie International:
Martha Graham Dance Company Gala

Tadej Bddnik

Tadej Bddnik  Photo by: Albert Watson


Martha Graham Dance Company 2010 Gala

May 19 2010

Launch of the Political Dance Project



The Martha Graham Dance Company’s annual gala will celebrate the launch of their Political Dance Project at Cedar Lake on May 19, 2010 at seven o’clock.

The honorary gala committee includes Doo-Ri Chung, Anna Quindlen, Lesley Stahl and Faye Wattleton. Gala Co-Chairs are Victoria Geduld, Patrick Leonard and Calvin Tsao. The Gala committee includes LaRue and Archibald Allen, Edward and Magda Palacci Bleier, Amy and Philip Blumenthal, Anita Durst, Janet Eilber and John Warren, Beth and Rob Elliott, Victoria and Buzzy Geduld, Laura J. Gordon and Michael Mishik, Inga and Frank Golay, Lisa Resling Halpern, Peggy Lyman Hayes and Richard Hayes, Christine Jowers and Rob Friedman, Lena Kaplan, Deborah Kramm, Madeleine Kristofferson and John Ray, Patrick Leonard, Lorraine and John Oler, Adam and Judith Pinsker, Neila and Jeffrey Radtke, Judith and Herbert Schlosser, Paul Szilard, Lee and Marvin Traub, Calvin Tsao, Ronald Windisch and Janice Stanton and Inger K. Witter. 

Among the guests expected that night is Josie Natori.

Guests will be treated to a special dance performance that will preview the Political Dance Project during cocktail hour followed by a superb dinner. The dancers will perform selections from the political dance solos of the upcoming season including The Revolutionary, by Isadora Duncan and I Ain’t Got No Home, by Sophie Maslow. Duets from American Document (2010) and from Graham’s classic Appalachian Spring will be performed. Thirty three High School students who have been chosen through an exciting all-city audition will perform the opening section of Graham’s 1935 work, Panorama.

The evening will celebrate the much-anticipated Martha Graham Dance Company’s June Season, which will debut the company’s Political Dance Project. Premiers include a re-conceived staging of American Document directed by Anne Bogart, created and performed by the Martha Graham Dance Company and SITI Company, and Dance is a Weapon.  The classics Appalachian Spring, Panorama, and Sketches from Chronicle will also be performed.  

Tables and tickets for the Gala are priced as follows:


Gala Tables

-$15,000 Sponsor

Premium seating for a party of ten

-$10,000 Benefactor

Priority seating for a party of ten

-$5,000 Patron

Preferred seating for a party of ten


Gala Tickets

- $1,000

Priority seating


Preferred seating


* Gala guests will receive complimentary admission to Martha Graham Company opening night at the Joyce Theater (6.8.10) with the purchase of their tables or tickets while supplies last.


To purchase tickets and tables please call 718.681.2560 or visit


About The Political Dance Project:

“We are highlighting the era of the 1930s when the nascent art form of American modern dance was fueled by the political and social activism of the time,” says Martha Graham Dance Company’s artistic director Janet Eilber. “Modern dance took on the plight of the oppressed of all races and backgrounds. Dances were created as if ‘ripped from the headlines’ – with themes that aligned modern dance to the complex social concerns of the day including the financial crisis, civil rights, workers rights, and the rise of fascism in Europe. The performances at the Joyce will explore the issues of that time and how they reverberate today in the ongoing dialogue about who we are as a nation.”

American Document (2010) premiering on opening night is not a dance by Martha Graham, but it is closely tied to one of her seminal works, American Document from 1938.  This new American Document is a theatrical piece directed by Anne Bogart for six actors from SITI Company and ten Graham dancers.  Using filmed excerpts, written descriptions and Graham’s handwritten notes, Bogart and playwright Chrles L. Mee have reinvented American Document for the 21st century by incorporating text from a variety of sources including Walt Whitman’s poetry and blogs from American soldiers in Iraq. The work, which includes speaking and dancing by all the performers, probes the same issues as Graham’s original: what is an American?

American Document (2010) will be followed by Martha Graham’s 1936 masterwork Sketches from Chronicle on the evenings of June 8, 11, 12 and 13.

Dance is a Weapon will premiere on June 9th. This multimedia montage envisioned by Janet Eilber and based on an exhibit created by Victoria Geduld, has text, images and media by Ellen Graff, Victoria Geduld and Nancy Stevens, and presents dances from the 1920’s and 1930s, by Graham and her contemporaries. Dance is a Weapon opens with a solo by Isadora Duncan: The Revolutionary. It is a rallying cry -- inspiring action and courage. This is followed by three other seminal solos of the era: Tenant of the Street by Eve Gentry (a portrait of a homeless woman – downtrodden but defiant); I Ain’t Got No Home (from Dust Bowl Ballads) by Sophie Maslow (a solo evoking the displaced people of the Dust Bowl Era, bowed by circumstances but determined to move on;) and Time is Money by Jane Dudley (a powerful statement against “the machine” of commerce).

These solos will be followed by Panorama, work by Graham from 1935 that speaks of the power of the people to take social action. The cast for Panorama at the Joyce will be thirty-three high school students from all over New York City chosen for these performances by a city-wide audition process. 

The Dance is a Weapon montage will conclude with Graham’s “Steps in the Street” and “Prelude to Action,” two sections of her work Chronicle from 1936. Eilber notes, “This is the same year Martha turned down Hitler’s invitation to perform at the International Arts Festival running concurrent with the Olympic games in Berlin.” Performed by the women of the company, “Steps in the Street” evokes the devastation and isolation that war leaves in its wake while “Prelude to Action” suggests a response.

Dance is a Weapon will be followed by the work Graham created in 1944 as her contribution to the war effort, Appalachian Spring, on the evening of June 9 and the matinee on June 13.

On June 10th, the Company will present an “All Graham” program: Panorama, Appalachian Spring, Lamentation Variations, and Sketches from Chronicle.

Lamentation Variations commemorates the anniversary of 9/11 and premiered on that date in 2007. The work opens with a film from the early 1930s of Martha Graham dancing movements from her then new, and now iconic, solo, Lamentation. The variations that follow were developed by choreographers Larry Keigwin, and Bulareyaung Pagarlava. Each created a choreographic sketch of their reaction to the Graham film. Originally to be performed one night only, the audience reaction to Lamentation Variations was such that it has been added to the permanent repertory of the Martha Graham Dance Company and new variations have been commissioned. 

The June 12 matinee will include the premieres of three new dances based on the original Graham American Document. Three choreographers (all leading dancers with the Martha Graham Company) have been paired with three composers to create new American Document “Episodes.” They have chosen text that speaks to the American experience and that will be woven into the dancing. The composers are creating music with specific instrumentation that relates to the original score for American Document. Graham II, the Graham Center’s pre-professional company, will be featured in the new episodes. The choreographers are Tadej Brdnik, Samuel Potts and Blakeley White-McGuire. They are paired respectively with composers Patrick Leonard, Allen Krantz, Daniel Bernard Roumain and Patrick Leonard.

The Martha Graham Dance Company is exploring new and creative ways to connect Graham’s extraordinary legacy to today’s audiences. While the company offers world-class performances of the core collection of Graham masterworks, it also continues to take on innovative projects that honor Martha Graham’s appetite for the new.

The Graham season programming includes a great range of creative events including multimedia enhancement; classic works from Graham’s contemporaries; a Graham masterwork performed by thirty-three high school students from all over New York City; three premieres by emerging choreographers and important composers; performances of seminal Graham masterpieces; and a major new dance/theater work which will premiere on opening night.


To reserve Joyce season tickets for The Martha Graham Dance Company please call 212.242.0800 or visit


About The Martha Graham Dance Company:

Founded in 1926 by dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, The Martha Graham Dance Company is the most celebrated contemporary dance company in America. Since its inception, the Martha Graham Dance Company has received international acclaim from audiences in over 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 of Egypt and in the ancient Herod Atticus Theatre on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. In addition, the Company has also produced several award-winning films broadcast on PBS and around the world.

Acknowledged as “one of the great companies of the world,” according to Anna Kisselgoff, former chief dance critic of The New York Times, the Martha Graham Dance Company has been lauded by critics throughout the world. Alan M. Kriegsman of The Washington Post referred to the Company as “one of the seven wonders of the artistic universe,” while Los Angeles Times critic Martin Bernheimer noted, “They seem able to do anything, and to make it look easy as well as poetic.” Ismene Brown of The Daily Telegraph, London, touted the Martha Graham Dance Company’s performance as “Unmissable,” and for Donald Richie of Japan Times these dancers were “Graham’s perfect instrument.”



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