- By Arlene Winnick
GRAHAM100 a three-year celebration of the works and legacy of Martha Graham, one of the creative geniuses of the artistic community, premieres at The Soroya on the campus of CalState Northridge on September 30. Though Martha Graham Dance Company first premiered in NYC, Graham spent her early years in California and since 2015 The Soroya has been the troupe’s West Coast home. Graham was a primal force in evolving the art form of modern dance with her pioneering techniques, experiments in human movement, and creation of a singular American style of dance. GRAHAM100 will feature performances, exhibitions, film screenings, discussions, and educational activities.
The initial season “American Legacies” spans more than 100 years and begins with performances of two notable Graham classics: “Dark Meadow” and “Maple Leaf Rag” along with Ted Shawn’s “Serenata Morisca” and a re-orchestrated production of Agnes de Mille’s 1942 work “Rodeo.” In the new work, multi-instrumentalist and composer/arranger Gabe Witcher has rearranged Aaron Copland’s iconic score for a six-piece bluegrass ensemble highlighting the musical form’s Black origins.
Adds MGDC Executive Director LaRue Allen, “The 100th anniversary of the Martha Graham Dance Company is more than a red-letter day for Graham -the entire field of American modern dance has reason to celebrate…. the continuing success of the Graham Company shows that modern dance can be sustained, that it can evolve and remain relevant to successive generations.”
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