Her choreography has received recognition from the Massachusetts Artist Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Janet was the Head of Dance at Emerson College for twenty-four years. She created her first aerial dance in and has continued to define and refine her unique form of aerial dance. Recent full evening work includes:
Early life[ edit ] Graham was born in Allegheny City — later to become part of PittsburghPennsylvania — in Her father, George Graham, practiced as what in the Victorian era was known as an "alienist", Martha graham dance company performance practitioner of an early form of psychiatry.
The Grahams were strict Presbyterians. Graham was a third-generation American of Irish descent. Denis and Ted Shawn at which she would stay until InGraham performed one of Shawn's Egyptian dances with Lillian Powell in a short silent film by Hugo Riesenfeld that attempted to synchronize a dance routine on film with a live orchestra and an onscreen conductor.
This motivated Graham to strip away the more decorative movements of ballet and of her training at the Denishawn school and focus more on the foundational aspects of movement.
Among other performances, together Mamoulian and Graham produced a short two-color film called The Flute of Krishna, featuring Eastman students.
Mamoulian left Eastman shortly thereafter and Graham chose to leave also, even though she was asked to stay on. On April 18 of the same year  Graham debuted her first independent concert, consisting of 18 short solos and trios that she had choreographed.
This performance took place at the 48th Street Theatre in Manhattan. She would later say of the concert: Around the same time she entered an extended collaboration with Japanese-American pictorialist photographer Soichi Sunamiand over the next five years they together created some of the most iconic images of early modern dance.
When Rothschild moved to Israel and established the Batsheva Dance Company inGraham became the company's first director. The desire to highlight a more base aspect of human movement led Graham to create the "contraction and release", for which she would become known for.
Each movement could separately be used to express either positive or negative, freeing or constricting emotions depending on the placement of the head. The contraction and release were both the basis for Graham's weighted and grounded style, which is in direct opposition to classical ballet techniques that typically aim to create an illusion of weightlessness.
To counter the more percussive and staccato movements, Graham eventually added the spiral shape to the vocabulary of her technique to incorporate a sense of fluidity. New Era in Dance[ edit ] Following her first concert made up of solos, Graham created Hereticthe first group piece of many that showcased a clear diversion from her days with Denishawn, and served as an insight to her work that would follow in the future.
Made up of constricted and sharp movement with the dancers clothed unglamorously, the piece centered around the theme of rejection—one that would reoccur in other Graham works down the line. As time went on Graham moved away from the more stark design aesthetic she initially embraced, and began incorporating more elaborate sets and scenery to her work.
To do this, she collaborated often with Isamu Noguchi —a Japanese American designer—whose eye for set design was a complimentary match to Graham's choreography.
Within the many themes which Graham incorporated into her work, there were two that she seemed to adhere to the most—Americana and Greek Mythology. One of Graham's most known pieces that incorporates the American life theme is Appalachian Spring She collaborated with the composer Aaron Copland—who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the piece—and Noguchi, who created the nonliteral set.
As she did often, Graham placed herself in her own piece as the bride of a newly married couple whose optimism for starting a new life together is countered by a grounded pioneer woman and a sermon giving revivalist.
Two of Graham's pieces—Cave of Heart and Night Journey —display her intrigue not only with Greek mythology but also with the psyche of a woman, as both pieces retell Greek myths from a woman's point of view.
InGraham created Chronicle which brought serious issues to the stage in a dramatic manner. Influenced by the Wall Street Crash ofthe Great Depression that followed, and the Spanish Civil Warthe dance focused on depression and isolation, reflected in the dark nature of both the set and costumes.
That same year, she declined Hitler's invitation to perform at the International Arts Festival, an event that ran alongside the Olympic Games in Berlin. He officially joined her troupe the following year, dancing male lead in a number of Graham's works.
On April 1,the Martha Graham Dance Company premiered the ballet Clytemnestra, based on the ancient Greek legend Clytemnestra and it became a huge success and great accomplishment for Graham. Graham choreographed and danced the title role, spending almost the entire duration of the performance on the stage.
Within the ballet, Clytemnestra has an affair with Aegisthuswhile her husband is away battling at the Trojan War.
Upon Agamemnon's victorious return he discovers his wife has had an affair, and in revenge Agamemnon offers their daughter, Iphigenia to be sacrificed. Later in the ballet, Clytemnestra is murdered by her other child, her son, Orestesand the audience experiences Clytemnestra in the afterworld.
This ballet was deemed a masterpiece of 20th-century American modernism and was so successful it had a limited engagement showing on Broadway.
Her oldest friend and musical collaborator Louis Horst died in She said of Horst, "His sympathy and understanding, but primarily his faith, gave me a landscape to move in. Without it, I should certainly have been lost. For example, in addition to her collaboration with Sunami in the s, she also worked on a limited basis with still photographers Imogen Cunningham in the s, and Barbara Morgan in the s.
Graham considered Philippe Halsman 's photographs of Dark Meadow the most complete photographic record of any of her dances. In later years her thinking on the matter evolved and others convinced her to let them recreate some of what was lost.Martha Graham: Martha Graham, influential American dancer, teacher, and choreographer of modern dance whose ballets and other works were intended to ‘reveal the inner man.’ She gave modern dance new depth as a vehicle for the intense and forceful expression of primal emotions.
Learn more about Graham’s life and career. As the oldest and most celebrated modern dance company in America, the Martha Graham Dance Company exemplifies its founder’s timeless and uniquely American style of dance, one that has influenced generations of artists and continues to captivate audiences worldwide.
Graham 2 is a pre-professional dance company drawn from the most advanced students of the Martha Graham School.
Its mission is to bring the Graham tradition to younger audiences, smaller venues, and to cultural communities, and to be a springboard for young dancers to enter the professional dance world. As the oldest and most celebrated modern dance company in America, the Martha Graham Dance Company exemplifies its founder’s timeless and uniquely American style of dance, one that has influenced generations of artists and continues to captivate audiences worldwide.
London Contemporary Dance Theatre (LCDT) grew from the Contemporary Dance Group created in by the philanthropist and soon-to-be founder of The Place, Robin Howard. Crystal J. Draper, Owner and Director, is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and began her studies in dance at the young age of two at the Anneliese Von Ottengin School of Ballet (AVO), one of the first European ballet schools formed in the Midwest.