"Three Masters of 20th Century Art": The Eternal Glamour of Martha Graham

Martha Graham Dance Company toured China again this year from October 25th to November 8th under Wu Promotion’s organization.

After their first visit to China in 2008, Martha Graham Dance Company toured China again this year from October 25th to November 8th under Wu Promotion’s organization. The company has been already established for 89 years, set up by Contemporary Dancer’s pioneer Martha Graham. This time, the brilliant company presented Three Masters of 20th Century Art for Chinese audiences. This show was a combination of the most classical works from Martha Graham and new productions from young and promising choreographers.

Martha Graham Dance Company toured the Shanghai Grand Theatre, the Tianjin Grand Theatre, the Peking University Hall and the National Center for the Performing Arts in this 2015 China tour. Generally, it was the first time for most of dancers to visit China. China’s fast developing economy, cities, theatres and great facilities really amazed the dancers.

Besides the theatres, the Chinese audiences’ artistic taste and perception amazed the company even more. In the program Deep SongChronicle  and The Rite of Spring were choreographed by Martha Graham the last century, and only Lamentation variations were choreographed by young artists of the recent years after ‘911’ happened in the USA. In order to give the audiences a better understanding of the program, the Artistic Director Janet Eilber introduced all the background and knowledge before each dance, which got great response from the audiences. Even though most of the works were dated at the last century, the classical works from Martha Graham really appealed the audiences.

Mr.Zezhou Wu with Artistic Director Janet Eilber

Especially mentioned, the NCPA organized an activity at the Xiaowei Hutong Primary School. XIN Ying, Chinese soloist of the Martha Graham Dance Company held a dance class for the students. She taught the students Martha Graham’s dance technique and gave them an idea of dancing as part of the daily life and human’s emotion. Ying was amazed by the students’ learning ability, devotion, and creativity during the class. She said ’I would do all I could for supporting a new generation, as these children may be great artists if we enlighten and encourage them.’

Ying Xin, Chinese soloist in Martha Graham Dance Company

Before Martha Graham Dance Company’s last performance at the NCPA, the whole dance group was standing hand in hand in a circle before performing Chronicle and The Rite of Spring. They explained that dance is not one person’s art and it often needs a group of people to express one idea. Standing hand by hand could help all the dancers to adjust their mental and physical situation to build and encourage one unique. After 10 days’ of travelling and performing, some dancers were so tired that they lied on the ground and breathed heavily after the performance, but they explained to ‘get energy from Martha Graham’s works.’ Maybe that is the main influence of Martha Graham, who inspired generation after generation. We hope Martha Graham Dance Company could visit China with more marvelous programs in the future.


Clipping Report:

Dongfang Daily

Xinmin Evening News

The Paper

CRI Online

China Daily

Ballet Magazine

Tianjin Grand Theatre

Peking University Hall

the National Centre for the Performing Arts

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