Contemporary Dance at Center for the Arts

Posted: October 4, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Martha Graham Dance Company celebrates 80 years of groundbreaking contemporary dance. Its founder, legendary dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, revolutionized the art of dance, adopting new theories of movement and using unorthodox techniques to communicate emotional and spiritual themes through contemporary dance.

Today, the company travels the world performing Graham’s repertory, keeping her singular genius alive and vibrant. The Martha Graham Dance Company returns to Mason’s Center for the Arts on Friday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m., for the first time since the Concert Hall opened in 1990. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, will begin 45 minutes prior to the curtain on the Hall’s Grand Tier III.

Graham’s innovative choreography was inspired by a wide variety of sources, including modern painting, heroic women, the American frontier and Greek mythology. The performance at Mason includes three diverse ballets choreographed by Graham: “Appalachian Spring,” a hopeful tale about the spirit of the American pioneer set to an original score by Aaron Copland; “Embattled Garden,” a tragi-comedy about the Garden of Eden that is more about amorous love than biblical solemnity; and “Sketches from ‘Chronicle’,” a response to the menace of fascism in Europe during the 1930s.

Graham founded the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1926 and created 181 ballets before her death in 1991. She conceived every new dance in its entirety – dance, costumes and music. Performances feature sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s beautiful sets; original lighting; costumes by Graham and fashion designers Halston, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein; and original scores by renowned composers.

The company currently has more than 20 dancers and is headed by Artistic Director and Martha Graham Dance Company alum Janet Eilber and Executive Director LaRue Allen.

Tickets are $40, $32 and $20. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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