Martha Graham Dance Company
(Graham Company Website)
Political Dance Project
Dance Is a Weapon
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Martha Graham: Founder, Dancer, Choreographer
Artistic Director: Janet Eilber
Executive Director: LaRue Allen
Senior Artistic Associate: Denise Vale
Music Director: Aaron Sherber
Lighting Designer: Beverly Emmons
General Manager: Faye Rosenbaum
Production Manager: Ann Posluszny
Director of School: Virginie Mécène
Press: Jonathan Marder + Company
Martha Graham Dance Company:
Tadej Brdnik, Katherine Crockett, Jennifer DePalo,
Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Maurizio Nardi, Miki Orihara,
Blakely White-McGuire, Lloyd Knight
Jacqueline Bulnes, Sevin Ceviker, Jacquelyn Elder,
Mariya Dashkina Maddux, Samuel Pott, Ben Schultz,
Heather McGinley, Andrea Murillo, Xiaochuan Xie
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 9, 2010
(See More Graham Company Reviews)
Dance Is a Weapon (2007): Inspired by an exhibition by Victoria Geduld for the Centre National de la Danse, Conceived by Janet Eilber, Lighting Design by Judith Daitsman, Costumes recreated by Karen Young, Media montage content by Victoria Geduld and Ellen Graff, Editing by Saira McLaren, Narration by Ellen Graff.
The Revolutionary (1924):, Choreography by Isadora Duncan, Music by Alexander Scriabin, Staging and coaching by Lori Belilove, Costumes by Lori Belilove and Karen Young, Performed by Tadej Brdnik.
Tenant of the Street (1938): Choreography by Eve Gentry, Sound by Joseph Weber and William McGinnis, Restaging by Mary Anne Santos Newhall, Performed by Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch.
I Ain’t Got No Home (1941): Choreography by Sophie Maslow, Music by Woodie Guthrie, Performed by Lloyd Knight.
Time Is Money (1932): Choreography by Jane Dudley, Costumes by Karen Young, Restaging by Martin Lofsnes, Poem by Sol Furnaroff, Read by Margaret Klenck, Performed by Maurizio Nardi.
Panorama (1935): Theme of Dedication - Imperial Theme – Popular Theme, Choreography by Martha Graham, Music by Norman Lloyd, Costumes by Martha Graham, Realized by Russell Vogler, Lighting by David Finley, Performed by Martha Graham School Young Artists Program Dancers, Talent Unlimited High School Dancers, and All-City Dancers.
Steps in the Street from Sketches from “Chronicle” (1936): Choreography and Costumes by Martha Graham, Music by Wallingford Riegger, Original Lighting by Jean Rosenthal, Adapted by David Finley and Steven L. Shelley, Reconstructed in 1989 by Yuriko and Martha Graham, Performed by Miki Orihara, Jacquelyn Elder, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Mariya Dashkina Maddux, Heather McGinley, Andrea Murillo, Blakely White-McGuire, Xiaochuan Xie.
Prelude to Action from Sketches from “Chronicle” (1936): Choreography and Costumes by Martha Graham, Music by Wallingford Riegger, Original Lighting by Jean Rosenthal, Adapted by David Finley and Steven L. Shelley, Reconstructed in 1994 by Sophie Maslow, Terese Capucilli, Carol Fried, and Diane Gray, Performed by Jennifer DePalo, Miki Orihara, Jacquelyn Elder, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Mariya Dashkina Maddux, Heather McGinley, Andrea Murillo, Blakely White-McGuire, Xiaochuan Xie.
Dance Is a Weapon (1920-1930) was a thoroughly absorbing collage of mixed media, archival film, spoken text, and reconstructed dances of Isadora Duncan, Eve Gentry, Sophie Maslow, Jane Dudley, and Martha Graham. Ms. Graham’s Panorama (1935) brought out a talented and thrilled ensemble of high school students and youthful female dancers in long red shirts and dresses, with one sole young man, courageous and athletic, in red pants and shirt. The excitement and fervor of these dancers was palpable, as they propelled themselves in stark, repetitive motion, actualizing the Graham techniques of galloping leaps, arms thrust high, knees forward, pelvis accentuated.
Also presented here were the second and third segments of Graham’s Sketches from Chronicle, repeated from the previous Opening Night. Jennifer DePalo and Miki Orihara, along with the seasoned ensemble, mesmerized the audience once again with pulsating passion and rhythmic repetition. An archival media montage, by Victoria Geduld and Ellen Graff, provided fascinating depth and detail to the experience. Tadej Brdnik’s solo, in Isadora Duncan’s The Revolutionary (1924), was compelling and muscular. Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch’s solo, in Eve Gentry’s Tenant of the Street (1938), was one of my favorite performances of my three-program experience. In tight-fitting cap and costume, huddled to the ground, she exuded the plight of the homeless woman, in a dance that seared the mind. At this point, it occurred to me that a full season program of totally archival Graham, Duncan, Gentry, Maslow, et al, would be so absorbing and appreciated.
Sophie Maslow’s 1941 I Ain’t Got No Home, danced by Lloyd Knight, brought life to the Woodie Guthrie score. Mr. Knight exuded the image of a man of the street, and his powerful physique added drama to the dynamic. Maurizio Nardi, one of the Graham Company’s most charismatic dancers, danced his solo, Jane Dudley’s 1932 Time Is Money, with entertaining, energized bravura. Sol Furnaroff’s poem was read by Margaret Klenck. Dance Is a Weapon could become the kernel of the fused archival season proposed above.
Appalachian Spring (“Ballet for Martha”, 1944): Choreography and Costumes by Martha Graham, Music by Aaron Copland, Set by Isamu Noguchi, Original Lighting by Jean Rosenthal, Adapted by Beverly Emmons, Performed by Blakely White-McGuire as The Bride, Samuel Pott as The Husbandman, Maurizio Nardi as The Revivalist, Katherine Crockett as The Pioneering Woman, and Jacqueline Bulnes, Jacquelyn Elder, Mariya Dashkina Maddux, and Heather McGinley as The Followers.
Appalachian Spring, Graham’s 1944 iconic ballet about a wedding in the wilderness, with The Bride, The Husbandman, The Revivalist, The Pioneering Woman, and The Followers, dancing in Isamu Noguchi’s spare outdoor set, was masterfully performed tonight with the welcome entrance of Katherine Crockett, Maurizio Nardi, Blakely White-McGuire, Samuel Pott, Jacqueline Bulnes, Jacquelyn Elder, Mariya Dashkina Maddux, and Heather McGinley. Ms. Crockett is a stunning presence, with defined features, tall stature, and serious demeanor. She is, in fact, one of the most charismatic dancers on any stage today. As The Pioneering Woman, with a long full skirt and matronly demeanor, she was the glue of this lyrical, lively ensemble.
Maurizio Nardi, also a spellbinding performer, slowly gave his Revivalist hat to his Followers and then took center stage for a kinetic performance of the highest caliber. Mr. Nardi has developed over the years into a gripping dramatist, as well as a virtuosic dancer, and his intensity in this role was extraordinary. Blakely White-McGuire and Samuel Pott, as Bride and Husbandman, danced with cheerful lyricism, punctuating Copland’s theme with captivating animation. The four Followers caught my eye throughout for their expressive Graham technique.
Below are the only available photos of tonight’s cast and program.
Tadej Brdnik in
Isadora Duncan's "The Revolutionary."
Courtesy of Kerville Cosmos Jack
Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch in
Even Gentry's "Tenant of the Street"
Courtesy of Kerville Cosmos Jack
Lloyd Knight in
Sophie Maslow's "I Ain't Got No Home"
Courtesy of Kerville Cosmos Jack