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Martha Graham Dance Company

December 10, 2020
Livestream Event
PLA Presents

With the “most skilled and powerful dancers you can ever hope to see,” (The Washington Post) this iconic company returns to our stage for an evening of solos and duets. Intermixed with stunning archival footage, enjoy parts of Graham’s beloved Appalachian SpringDark Meadow Suite and Satyric Festival Song, as well as the full solo work, Lamentation. Offering a delectable taste of Graham’s signature choreographic style, these works illustrate why the Martha Graham Dance Company is one of the most celebrated contemporary dance companies on the planet.

The performance will include a Q&A with the dancers and Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of Martha Graham Dance Company.

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This is an original, live event performed on our stage and streamed online. Visit our FAQs page for additional details.

Artist Information
Martha Graham Bio
Martha Graham
Martha Graham has had a deep and lasting impact on American art and culture. She singlehandedly defined contemporary dance as a uniquely American art form, which the nation has in turn shared with the world. Crossing artistic boundaries, she collaborated with and commissioned work from the leading visual artists, musicians and designers of her day, including sculptor Isamu Noguchi and composers Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti.

Graham’s groundbreaking style grew from her experimentation with the elemental movements of contraction and release. By focusing on the basic activities of the human form, she enlivened the body with raw, electric emotion. The sharp, angular and direct movements of her technique were a dramatic departure from the predominant style of the time.

Graham influenced generations of choreographers that included Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp, altering the scope of dance. Classical ballet dancers Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov sought her out to broaden their artistry. Artists of all genres were eager to study and work with Graham—she taught actors including Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Gregory Peck, Tony Randall, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson and Joanne Woodward to utilize their bodies as expressive instruments.

During her long and illustrious career, Graham created 181 dance compositions. During the Bicentennial, she was granted the United States’ highest civilian honor, The Medal of Freedom. In 1998, TIME Magazine named her the “Dancer of the Century.” The first dancer to perform at the White House and to act as a cultural ambassador abroad, she captured the spirit of a nation. “No artist is ahead of his time,” she said. “He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time.”
Lloyd Knight Bio
Lloyd Knight (Dancer)
Knight joined the company in 2005 and performs lead roles in Appalachian Spring, Embattled Garden, Errand into the Maze, The Rite of Spring and others. Born in England and raised in Miami, he trained at Miami Conservatory of Ballet and graduated from New World School of the Arts, under the direction of Daniel Lewis. There, he worked with choreographers Donald McKayle, Robert Battle and Michael Uthoff. He received scholarships to The Ailey School and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Dance Magazine named him one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch” in 2010. Knight partnered Wendy Whelan in Moon and Misty Copeland in At Summer's Full.
Xin Ying Bio
Xin Ying (Dancer)
Ying joined the company in 2011 and performs lead roles in Cave of the Heart, Chronicle, Diversion of Angels, Clytemnestra, Woodland and I used to love you, among others. In 2008, she received the China Dance Lotus Award. She was the director of the dance department at Sichuan College of Arts & Culture and a guest teacher at the Graham School, the Beijing Dance Academy and Nanjing University of Arts. She was awarded a full scholarship to the Graham School and was a member of Graham 2.
Program Notes [PDF]

Photo credits:
1, 3-4: Hibbard Nash Photography
2: Brigid Pierce