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Graham II New York Spring Gala and Reception
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Graham II New York Spring Gala and Reception

- Offstage with the Dancers

Salon Ziba


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Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance
(Graham School Website)

Graham II
(Graham II Website)
New York Spring Season
Gala Performance and Reception
Celebrating Helen McGehee and Reed Hansen

At
Westbeth
55 Bethune Street
NY, NY

Graham Center Artistic Director: Janet Eilber
Graham Center Exec. Director: LaRue Allen
Graham II Artistic Director: Virginie Mécène

Guest Speakers:
Mary Hinkson and Peggy Lyman Hayes
Media Collage by Julia Atkinson and Pia Vinson
Produced by Marnie Thomas

Dancers:
Laureen Elizabeth, Iris Florentiny, Abdiel Jacobsen,
Gudrun Kristinsdottir, Lloyd Mayor, Lorenzo Pagano,
Lucy Postell, Zachary Tracz, Ashley Whitson, Ying Xin

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 14, 2012


(See More Graham Company Reviews)

Program:

Remember: Choreography by Oliver Tobin and dancers of the Young Artists Program, Music by Amon Tobin, Performed by students of the Young Artists Program.

Duet Suite: Choreography by Martha Graham, Concept by Virginie Mécène.

“Moon” (1952), from “Canticle for Innocent Comedians”, Original music by Cameron McCash, Music recreated by Pat Daugherty, Performed by Ying Xin and Abdiel Jacobsen.

“Stars” (1952), from “Canticle for Innocent Comedians”, Original music by Cameron McCash, Music recreated by Robert Boston, Performed by Iris Florentiny and Lloyd Mayor.

“Puritan Duet” (1938), from “American Document”, Reconstructed by Virginie Mécène, original music score composed by Ray Green, New music composed by Giovanni Spinelli, Performed by Lucy Postell and Lorenzo Pagano.

Diversion of Angels (1948): Choreography and Costumes by Martha Graham, Music by Norman Dello Joio, Performed by Laureen Elizabeth and Abdiel Jacobsen (Couple in White), Ying Xin and Zachary Tracz (Couple in Red), Iris Florentiny and Lloyd Mayor (Couple in Yellow), Graham students as Chorus.


The Graham School of Contemporary Dance announced the exciting news, through its impassioned Artistic Director, Janet Eilber, that it will be moving to Westbeth, to the very studios that were the home of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Tonight’s Gala performance was a tribute to Company alumni Helen McGehee and Reed Hansen. There were gorgeous film tributes in media collages produced by Marnie Thomas and created by Julia Atkinson and Pia Vinson. Speakers for the tributes were Mary Hinkson and Peggy Lyman Hayes, both of whom were thrilled to be paying homage to Graham dancer, Ms. McGehee and Graham school piano accompanist, Mr. Hansen. Ms. McGehee danced from 1942 to 1971 with the Company, performing many of the original Graham leads, and choreographed, taught, and lectured as well. Mr. Hansen started playing for classes in the early 1960’s and toured with the Company in the US and Europe. Both honorees were unable to attend this tribute event, but they received copies of the media productions.

The entire performance event was exceptionally danced, and the new Westbeth space lends itself well to the expansiveness of the Graham dance genre. In Remember, the 16 students of the Young Artists Program were vivacious and dynamic. The work was created from a series of studies of Graham “masks, memories, fear…’Night Journey’.” In “Moon”, from Duet Suite, elegantly conceived by Ms. Mécène, from Graham’s original choreography, Mr. Jacobsen, a rising Graham artist, who has just been chosen to join the Company, cradled Ying Xin (another new company member) in his arms. According to program notes, this dance is about a man finding the woman of his dreams. In “Stars”, Iris Florentiny and Lloyd Mayor (both also chosen for the Company) were glowing and smiling in the dim lighting. “Puritan Duet”, the third component of Duet Suite, was spiritual and transporting, danced by Lucy Postell and Lorenzo Pagano. Giovanni Spinelli’s “New Music” was breathtaking and textured. Ms. Mécène reconstructed this work by studying Barbara Morgan photos, film footage, and articles.

It’s always a joy to see Diversion of Angels, with the Couples in White, Red, and Yellow, signifying the stages of love, mature, erotic, adolescent. The dancing was intense, muscular, sweeping, sharp, and always in the moment. Laureen Elizabeth and Mr. Jacobsen added depth and drama to the Couple in White, while Ms. Xin and Zachary Tracz were ebullient and sensual as the Couple in Red. Ms. Florentiny and Mr. Mayor were propulsive and striking as the Couple in Yellow. And, the Graham II Chorus swept through the dance with joyful abandon.

Kudos to Virginie Mécène for her Direction of Graham II. Kudos to Janet Eilber for developing the entire Company and School with such attention to excellence and attention to the Graham genre, kudos to tonight’s honorees, kudos to Graham II dancers and young artists, and kudos to Martha Graham. A lovely reception followed this event.



Ying Xin and Abdiel Jacobsen in
Martha Graham's "Moon" from
"Canticle for Innocent Comedians"
in Duet Suite
Courtesy of Kerville Kosmos Jack





Iris Florentiny and Lloyd Mayor in
Martha Graham's "Stars" from
"Canticle for Innocent Comedians"
in Duet Suite
Courtesy of Kerville Kosmos Jack





Lucy Postell and Lorenzo Pagano in
Martha Graham's "Puritan Duet" from
"American Document"
Courtesy of Kerville Kosmos Jack





Ying Xin and Zachary Tracz in
Martha Graham's "Diversion of Angels"
Courtesy of Kerville Kosmos Jack





Laureen Elizabeth, Lloyd Mayor,
Lorenzo Pagano, Zachary Tracz,
and Abdiel Jacobsen in
Martha Graham's "Diversion of Angels"
Courtesy of Kerville Kosmos Jack





Virginie Mécène, Graham II Artistic Director and Graham School Director,
Giovanni Spinelli, Commissioned Composer,
and Inger Witter, President, Board of Trustees
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower





Iris Florentiny, Graham II and Company dancer,
Giovanni Spinelli, Composer,
Laureen Elizabeth, Graham II dancer
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower





Inger Witter, President, Board of Trustees,
and Susan Stroman, Choreographer
and School Committee member
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower





Janet Eilber, Martha Graham Center Artistic Director
and Susan Stroman, Choreographer and School Committee member
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower





Lucy Postell, Graham II dancer,
Suzanne Flanagan, Graham Center Development Associate
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower





Graham II dancers, School Committee, Board members
at the Gala Performance Reception.
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower





Deborah Kramm-Baiz, School Committee,
Lorraine Oler, Board of Trustee and Chairman of School Committee,
Virginie Mécène, Graham II Artistic Director and Graham School Director,
Peggy Lyman Hayes, Company Alumna and School Faculty member
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net