Center for the Arts Presents Dance Company, Pianist This Weekend

Posted: October 20, 2011 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: October 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Mason’s Center for the Arts will welcome back the Martha Graham Dance Company on Friday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m., as well as  virtuoso pianist Jeffrey Siegel on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m.

Formed by modern dance pioneer Martha Graham more than 85 years ago, the company is one of the oldest and most celebrated dance companies in the world and has produced groundbreaking works that continue to inspire generations of choreographers and captivate audiences.

The program for this performance is “Prelude and Revolt,” a multimedia event that charts the era when Martha Graham revolutionized dance. Using media and narration to connect the live dancing, “Prelude and Revolt” offers a theatrical guided tour of Graham’s game-changing innovations.

The program begins with the Denishawn solos, a trio of solo works by Denishawn School of Dancing founders Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis, as well as Graham, who studied at the Denishawn School from 1916 to 1924, before ultimately rebelling against the Denishawn technique.

Following is Graham’s iconic “Lamentation” from 1930, and “Panorama,” her timeless masterwork from 1935. A riveting call for social activism, “Panorama” will be performed by students from Mason’s School of Dance. The program continues with new work from contemporary choreographers in the “Lamentation Variations,” and closes with the classic from 1944, “Appalachian Spring.”

Pianist Jeffrey Siegel will return for the 19th season of his popular “concerts with commentary” series, Keyboard Conversations at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall. In his second concert of the season, Siegel will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt in a program titled “From Heart to Art: The Romantic Music of Franz Liszt.”

“Every work on this program is inspired by love,” Siegel says. “Music extolling the beauties and fulfillment of love in ‘Liebesträume,’ Liszt’s love for his native country in the ‘Hungarian Rhapsodies’ and, most unusually, Liszt’s love of the music of his contemporaries: Chopin, Verdi and Schumann. He not only championed their music, but transcribed it for the piano and performed it in his well-attended concerts so that the music of these composers could be better known.”

For ticket information on the Martha Graham Dance Company or Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversation, see the website.

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