The Legacy of Martha Graham, “Dancer of the Century"

The Martha Graham Dance Company is coming to the DU Newman Center September 22-23, 2023, bringing new and classic works to the stage. This acclaimed company has been a leading force in modern dance since its founding in 1926. Works to be performed include classic Graham repertoire Diversion of Angels (1948) and Canticle for Innocent Comedians (1952), as well as CAVE (2022), a thrilling new work by Hofesh Shechter created for the Graham company. 

Learn more about this amazing artistry by digging a bit deeper into Martha Graham and modern dance with these resources from Denver Public Library:

Martha Graham: When Dance Became Modern by Neil Baldwin (2022) - Paints a revealing portrait of one of the most important artistic forces of the 20th century – the legendary dancer whose pioneering movements combined with her distinctive system of training were the epitome of American modernism, performance as art – and whose profound influence is still being felt today.

The Style of Movement by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, NYC Dance Project (2019) - Spotlighting today's greatest dancers in clothing by today's and yesterday's most celebrated designers, this stunning volume takes the relationship between style, fashion, and dance as its subject. The dancers bring the pages to life with their grace and movement, becoming one with what they're wearing. In costumes designed by Martha Graham herself and many others, the world-renowned dancers featured in these pages bring movement to style.

Out Loud by Mark Morris (2019) - The acclaimed choreographer traces his rise from humble origins to the pinnacle of the performing-arts world, discussing his formation of the Mark Morris Dance Group and his celebrated collaborations with such artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Yo-Yo Ma. Out Loud is the bighearted and outspoken story of a man as formidable on the page as he is on the boards. 

If the Dancer Dances (2018) - Stephen Petronio, one of today's leading dance-makers, is determined to help his dancers breathe new life into RainForest (1968), an iconic work by the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham. With help from three members of the former Cunningham company, the film tracks Petronio's dancers as they strive to re-stage this great work, revealing what it takes to keep a dance - and a legacy - alive. Available on Kanopy.

Polina: a Film by Valérie Müller and Angelin Preljocaj (2018) - Polina, as a teenager, is accepted into the legendary Bolshoi Ballet and is dating a visiting French dancer. The two go to a modern dance recital and Polina is rocked to the core by the passionate intimacy expressed between the dancers onstage. Impulsively, Polina follows her boyfriend to France to audition for a famous choreographer's company, leaving classical ballet behind.

Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter, directed by Greg Vander Veer (2015) - Through archival footage, lively interviews with friends and intimates, and rare footage of the spirited subject, the film explores Hill's arduous path from a Bible Belt childhood in Ohio to the halls of academia at NYU and Bennington College to a position of power and influence as Juilliard's founding director of dance (1952-1985). This revelatory story depicts her struggles and successes, the film is a celebration of dance and an examination of the passion required to keep it alive. Available on Kanopy.

Wallowitch & Ross: This Moment (1998) - Shortlisted for the 1999 Academy Award, this nonfiction musical follows John Wallowitch, a star of New York cabaret, and partner Bertram Ross, Martha Graham's lead dancer for 20 years. Together they formed the unforgettable cabaret duo "Wallowitch and Ross." A hidden gem of queer cinema recently preserved in the Academy Archives. Available on Kanopy.

No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century (2003) by Nancy Reynolds and Malcolm McCormick - This book chronicles one hundred years of dramatic developments in ballet, modern, and experimental dance for stage and screen in Europe and North America. The volume is magisterial in scope, encompassing the history of theatrical dance from 1900 through 2000. 



Written by Dodie on