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Martha Graham Dance Company _ Portland. OR

  • Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 1037 Southwest Broadway Portland, OR, 97205 United States (map)

Now celebrating 90 years, the world-renowned Martha Graham Dance Company returns with an extraordinary program combining Graham masterworks with new pieces by today’s outstanding choreographers, inspired by Martha Graham’s genius. Our program is scheduled to feature Martha Graham’s 1948 joyous and lyrical masterwork Diversion of Angels.

Talking Points:

Recognized as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Martha Graham founded her company in 1926.  Graham forever altered the scope of dance by creating her own movement language and influencing generations of choreographers and dancers.  The Martha Graham Dance Company continues to perform works by Martha Graham as well as new works inspired by Martha Graham’s legacy.  Diversion of Angels, which premiered in 1948, features three couples, each representing an aspect of love.

 ∙ In 1926 Martha Graham founded Martha Graham Dance Company, which is based in New York City.

 ∙ Martha Graham is recognized as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.  Graham created a movement language based upon the expressive capacity of the human body.  She has influenced generations of choreographers and dancers including Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp.                           

∙ Janet Eilber was a previous principal dancer for Martha Graham and has been the Artistic Director of the company since 2005. She has focused on creating new forms of audience access to the Graham masterworks, through initiatives that include designing contextual programming, educational and community partnerships, use of new media, commissions and creative events.

 ∙ The Martha Graham Dance Company continues to perform works by Martha Graham as well as new works inspired by Martha Graham legacy.

 ∙ Styles of Dance: Graham Technique, Modern, Contemporary

 ∙ Diversion of Angels features three couples, the 3 women are in different colors, and the three men/corps de ballet are all in beige.  Martha Graham once described Diversion of Angels as three aspects of love; the white couple represents mature love in perfect balance; red, erotic love; and yellow, adolescent love.

 ∙ Diversion of Angels premiered in 1948 under the title Wilderness Stair. The original title came from a poem by Ben Bellit.

 ∙ Graham’s groundbreaking style grew from her experimentation with the elemental movements of contraction and release.

 ∙ Martha Graham and her Company have expanded contemporary dance’s vocabulary of movement and forever altered the scope of the art form by rooting works in contemporary social, political, psychological, and sexual contexts, deepening their impact and resonance.

 ∙ Fun Fact: Artists of all genres were eager to study and work with Graham—she taught actors including Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Madonna, Liza Minelli, Gregory Peck, Tony Randall, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, and Joanne Woodward to utilize their bodies as expressive instruments.