Few pieces of art can stand the test of time like Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, which has been performed ultimately unchanged in 90 years. The piece celebrating the American Pioneer spirit much like the spirit of its creator. Martha Graham revolutionized dance and helped to create an amazing new form style and genre of dance that is still as relevant as it was 100 years ago.
Tonight’s performance was no exception, the company performed four separate pieces, two of which featured Martha Graham’s original choreography. The other two pieces are inspired by Martha’s groundbreaking original works, the most moving of the two is a piece titles Lamentation Variations. Which is a collection of three different choreographer’s work that is directly inspired by Martha’s often referenced Lamentations Solo. The collection was originally commissioned as a memorial for the victims of the 911 Terrorist attacks in New York City. It originally premiered in 2007 as a one night only performance but audiences found it so moving that it was added to the company’s repertoire. That was a brilliant decision on the direction of the current artistic director of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Janet Eilber who also conceived the idea.
The night although packed full of some of the most amazing modern dance, does not feel long, or tedious like some nights at the ballet can feel. Even with a 2 hour playing time, the performance felt like merely a few minutes in your seat and left you desperate for more!
A brilliant choice on the part of Kathy Panoff, the spunky little Director and Associate Dean of Texas Performing Arts who in her tenure with the organization has turned a new leaf and is bringing a venerable arsenal of talent to the UT stages. Some of the other incredible dance selections coming in this season include the iconic Hubbard Street Dance Chicago this January, as well as the UT Dance Department presentations “Move” and “Fall For Dance” coming up this season.