"For what is shockingly the first time, the Martha Graham Dance Company graced the stage of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater last night. Three of Ms. Graham’s classic, and most iconic works were performed, and included sets designed by Isamu Noguchi, completing the ultra-modern aesthetic that we think of when we think Martha Graham. There is a certain geometric look to all of the choreography; angles are everywhere (including the very simple, structural sets), complicated formations take on the look of three dimensional geometric figures, and the clean, ultra-precise steps the dancers take around the steps remind one of something that can only be described as precise mathematical calculations that in the end reveal not an answer, but rather an archetypal human story.
Appalachian Spring describes the universal human emotion of hope; all of the characters seem to understand that there is something bigger, something larger than themselves. For the preacher, whose movement gives off an air of religious fervor, that larger thing is God, but for the Pioneer Woman, who Kathryn Crocket danced with stability and elegance, the larger thing is perhaps the unknown, land that has yet to be seen, and may never be seen. Embattled Garden tells of love, and betrayal, and forgiveness, themes very familiar to any audience member. And finally, Chronicle, which included two of the most powerful sections of the evening, told the story of destruction, and women rising against that destruction as a community.
Martha Graham is indisputably one of the most important modern dance choreographers ever. She not only veered off from ballet, but she influenced people like Merce Cunningham, and Mark Morris, who veered off from her and moved dance forward into a completely different era. It was such a treat to be able to see the Martha Graham Dance Company last night, and I hope this won’t be the last time we see them in Vail!"
- Allie Hutt