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Martha Graham Dance Company - Satyric Festival Song, Deep Song, Errand into the Maze, Circe, Sketches from Chronicle
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Martha Graham: Founder, Dancer, Choreographer
Terese Capucilli and Christine Dakin: Artistic Directors
Marvin Preston: Executive Director
Isamu Noguchi and Ming Cho Lee: Scenery Design
Beverly Emmons, Jean Rosenthal, David Finley, Steven L. Shelley: Lighting Design
Aaron Sherber: Music Director/Conductor
Kate Elliott: General Manager
David Pini: Company Manager
Melissa Caolo: Production Stage Manager
Beverly Emmons: Lighting Designer
Martha Graham, Halston, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren: Costume Design
Kenneth Topping: Interim Director, Martha Graham School
General Strategic Marketing, Ltd.,
Jonathan Marder/Martha Thomases: Publicity

Live Orchestra
Presented at City Center

Review by Dr. Robert E. Zlokower
Originally Published on
April 21, 2004

Satyric Festival Song (1932): Choreography and Costumes by Martha Graham, Original Music by Imre Weisshaus, Music for Reconstruction by Fernando Palacios, Arranged by Aaron Sherber, Lighting for Reconstruction by David Finley, Performed by Blakely White-McGuire, Flute: Elizabeth Mann. In tonight's performance of this frenetic piece with its tiny steps, jumps, wiggles, seductive glances, and undulating muscles, Ms. White-McGuire presented the choreography with a rounder, more gleeful and less sharp performance than that of Ms. Sheu. Two different dancers, two different interpretations.

Deep Song (1937): Choreography and Costume by Martha Graham, Music by Henry Cowell, Lighting for Reconstruction by David Finley, Performed by Alessandra Prosperi, Piano: Patrick Daugherty. Ms. Prosperi danced in silence and to a prepared piano, with disturbing tonalities, as the tortured Spanish woman, who exemplifies the common experience of pain and torment. Dissonance of music was a metaphor for dissonance of spirit. Ms. Prosperi evoked the depth and drama of Ms. Graham's intent. How ironic to see this piece performed so soon after the Madrid bombings.

Errand into the Maze (1947): Choreography and Costumes by Martha Graham, Music by Gian Carlo Menotti, Set by Isamu Noguchi, Original Lighting by Jean Rosenthal, Adapted by Beverly Emmons, Performed by Elizabeth Auclair and Martin Lofsnes. Once again, Ms. Auclair and Mr. Lofsnes performed the battle of fear. When Ms. Auclair climbed onto the legs of Mr. Lofsnes' Creature of Fear and stared him down, eye to eye, his knees withered and buckled, as he slid downwards, driven to nothingness by the Woman's determined strength and spirit. Her eyes told this story.

Circe (1963): Choreography and Costumes by Martha Graham, Music by Alan Hovhaness, Set by Isamu Noguchi, Lighting by Jean Rosenthal, Adapted by Beverly Emmons, Performed by Tadej Brdnik as Ulysses, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch as Circe, Gary Galbraith as Helmsman, Christophe Jeannot as Snake, Whitney Hunter as Lion, Gelan Lambert, Jr. as Deer, and Maurizio Nardi as Goat. In tonight's performance, Ms. Brdnik's Ulysses was physically skillful, but not as mesmerizing as Mr. Topping's.

Ms. Ellmore-Tallitsch's Circe was youthful and sprite. Mr. Galbraith as Helmsman seemed stronger and more mature than did Mr. Zurak. Mr. Jeannot as Snake was electrified and engrossing. He literally slithered and slid across the stage, a possessed predator. There was a guest artist, Gelan Lambert, Jr., who debuted in the role of Deer. The presence of a red scarf was, of course, reminiscent of Nijinsky's scarf in Faun. Mr. Brdnik's score was edgy and eery.

Sketches from Chronicle (1936): Choreography and Costumes by Martha Graham, Music by Wallingford Riegger, Music for Spectre-1914 and Prelude to Action arranged and orchestrated by Stanley Sussman, New Orchestration for Steps in the Street by Justin Dello Joio, Original Lighting by Jean Rosenthal, Steps in the Street Lighting for Reconstruction by David Finley, Spectre-1914 and Prelude to Action Lighting for Reconstruction by Steven L. Shelley, Performed by Elizabeth Auclair in Spectre-1914, Performed by Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch and the Company in Steps in the Street, Performed by Elizabeth Auclair, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, and the Company in Prelude to Action.

Tonight's cast was the mirror image of April 14. Their very sharp performance was focused, intense, and symbolic.

Kudos to Martha Graham. Kudos to Martha Graham Dance Company.

Erica Dankmeyer, Backstage
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Erica Dankmeyer and Milena Garcia, Guest
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at