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Martha Graham Dance Company returns to NYC for City Center Dance Festival

Martha Graham Dance Company
Photo courtesy of the Martha Graham Dance Company

As a part of the inaugural City Center Dance Festival, Martha Graham Dance Company will return to New York City April 6-10. Choreographies labeled “shining and joyous” and “a testimony to the simple finesses of the human spirit” by the New York Times, will be featured during the company’s season. 

The Martha Graham Dance Company masterworks Appalachian Spring and Chronicle. Appalachian Spring will feature a luminous score by Aaron Copland and a spare set by Graham’s long-time collaborator Isamu Noguchi. Chronicle is a performance by the company’s women created as a response to the rise of fascism in Europe; its underlying theme of political activism continues to reverberate today. Both productions will be performed live by the Mannes Orchestra conducted by David Hayes. 

This season will also feature the world premiere of CAVE by UK-based choreographer Hofesh Shechter. Produced with Studio Simkin, CAVE is performed by ten Graham dancers and international ballet star Daniil Simkin.

“It has been my absolute pleasure and honor to work with the Graham Company—a group of incredibly talented, generously hardworking, humble, and fully committed dancers who connected with my work fully, a work that is made to stir and inspire the driving beat of the body, and by that to awaken that euphoric human spirit with a sense of togetherness,” said Shechter. “I couldn’t have hoped for a better match than these fierce dancers for this work.”

The New York premiere of Canticle for Innocent Comedians created by eight different choreographers, including Sonya Tayeh, Sir Robert Cohan and Jenn Freeman, will also occur this season. The 1952 original work was built around eight virtuous vignettes that celebrated a different aspect of nature and our relationship to it. Therefore, each vignette was created by eight choreographers of diverse dance backgrounds. 

“To be a part of recrafting a Graham work is one of my greatest honors,” said Tayeh. “As the lead choreographer on the project, I get to be in throes of history being brought back to the forefront by Graham and seven other stellar choreographers. To me, Graham’s works are relics of resilience, and Canticle is full of that vivid energy.” 

The Martha Graham Dance Company, founded in 1926, has been a leader in the evolving art form of modern dance. Today, the company embraces work with contemporary artists to create new and profound masterpieces. 

The premiere of these new works will take place during separate programs and galas on April 6,7,9 and 10. The New York City Center is proud to host the Martha Graham Dance Company located between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan. Tickets are available online and start at $35. 

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