Next year the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center will celebrate its 75th anniversary, and as part of the year-long schedule of celebrations and events, it will host a performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company in April.
Back when the FAC opened in 1936 — for some background on the city's arts scene then, read here — dance icon Martha Graham herself gave a performance of her classic work Lamentation. Next year, the company plans on performing a variation on that work, as well as Graham's Steps on the Street.
For those of you unaware of who Graham was, or the legacy she created, I give you this one-line encapsulation from PBS' American Masters series:
Martha Graham’s impact on dance was staggering and often compared to that of Picasso’s on painting, Stravinsky’s on music, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s on architecture.
Likewise, the company she founded in 1926 is the oldest institution (and still one of the foremost) of modern and contemporary dance worldwide.
So there. Get your tickets now; contact info is in the press release below.
MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
Fine Arts Center to kick off 75th Anniversary celebration with dance
COLORADO SPRINGS (Oct. 26, 2010) — As part of its 75th Anniversary celebration, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is pleased to present the Martha Graham Dance Company on April 19, 2011, performing in the SaGaJi Theatre in honor of the historic Martha Graham performance on the very same stage in 1936.
The FAC opened on April 20, 1936, with a week-long series of performances, exhibitions, films, lectures and more. For its 75th Anniversary, the Fine Arts Center will present events throughout 2011, beginning with the 20th Annual Wine Festival of Colorado Springs (March 11-12) and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
“When Martha Graham danced onstage at the Fine Arts Center back in 1936, it was a powerful statement about our position as a forward looking, forward thinking organization,” said Sam Gappmayer, FAC President and CEO. “To have this world-renowned company perform 75 years later with new material as well as updated pieces from the original Fine Arts Center performance is a rare and wonderful opportunity.”
The Dance Company will perform Lamentation Variations, a series of vignettes by contemporary choreographers that interpret the theme of the classic Graham piece, Lamentation, performed at the FAC in 1936, and Steps in the Street, also originally choreographed by Graham in 1936, among other numbers.
“We're planning to open the program at the FAC with a multimedia event, "Dance is a Weapon,” said Janet Eilber, the Dance Company Artistic Director. “This is a montage of six dances connected with projected images and narration that highlight what was happening in America during the early years of the FAC; an era when the nascent art form of American modern dance was fueled by the political and social activism. Dances were created as if "ripped from the headlines" — with themes that aligned modern dance with the complex social concerns, including the financial crisis, civil rights, workers rights and the rise of fascism in Europe. This powerful montage not only presents seminal masterworks of modern dance but will chart to topical issues of the day — that very much relate to your 75th Anniversary — and that also resonate with challenges in this country today."
A special reception will follow the performance for premier ticket holders, who can mingle with the dancers. A Master Class is scheduled for April 18 at Colorado College, conducted by a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company.
The Martha Graham Dance Company performance is sponsored by El Pomar Foundation, the Colorado Springs Independent, KKTV, Bee Vradenburg Foundation, Colorado Springs Dance Theatre, Colorado College and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Martha Graham Dance Company
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Fine Arts Center’s SaGaJi Theatre
· Performance at 7 p.m. | Tickets: $50
· Premier Seating with Special Reception | Tickets: $75 (max. of 120)
Master Class co-presented by Colorado Springs Dance Theatre, Colorado College and the FAC
Monday, April 18, 2011
Colorado College’s Cossitt Hall
· Start time TBA | Tickets: $20 (max. of 50)
· Call 719.634.5583
· Visit csfineartscenter.org