Breaking the Waves (Review of Martha Graham’s Fall and Recover Gala, for DanceTabs)

Blakeley White-McGuire (and her extraordinary dress) in "Imperial Gesture." Photo by Charles Eilber.
Blakeley White-McGuire (and her extraordinary dress) in “Imperial Gesture.” Photo by Charles Eilber.

Here’s my review of the Martha Graham Fall and Recovery Gala, which included the restored version of Imperial Gesture, an intriguing excerpt from Canticle for Innocent Comedians, a new work by Luca Veggetti, and an excerpt of a work-in-progress by Duato.

And a short excerpt:

“Even more than with other choreographers, the costumes and sets are essential elements of Graham’s dance imagination. Think of Martha’s stretchy sack-dress in Lamentation, or the prickly metal tree-dress by Noguchi in Cave of the Heart. They are extensions of the dancers’ bodies, and of Graham’s Jungian world-view. Even more, they color our perception of the movement. A contraction of the pelvis looks quite different in a leotard than it does in a floor-length cape-dress.”

Any thoughts on the current Graham season?

The End: The Merce Cunningham Dance Company Takes its Final Bow (The Nation)

An older piece, on the closing of the Merce Cunningham Company and what it means for the future of the Cunningham rep, from The Nation.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“How had it come to this? The Merce Cunningham Dance Company, which since 1953 has fundamentally altered some of the most basic precepts of dance…is not a victim of the crummy economy or of evolving tastes. Nor is it the casualty of a struggle over ownership of the repertory, which was nearly the case with Martha Graham’s troupe. Cunningham, the company’s founder and raison d’être, died in the summer of 2009 at 90, one month after the death of Pina Bausch, the director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal. But whereas Bausch’s dancers are soldiering on, Cunningham’s company has come to a calculated end, one formulated over several years by the company’s administration and board, approved by the choreographer and announced one month before his death.”