Martha Graham’s dance company returns to The Soraya with world premiere – NoHo Arts District

On Saturday, March 19, at 8pm, on Saturday, March 19 at 8pm, Martha Graham’s dance company returns to The Soraya with the world premiere of “A New Song for Innocent Comedians”.

Martha Graham Dance Company is back in Soraya with a world premiere A new song for innocent comedians on Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m.

Martha Graham’s Lost Dance Creation of 1952 is the original artistic force of the century — reborn from Martha Graham Dance CompanyWorld premiere A new song for innocent comedians at The Soraya on Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m. This is new The song based on the same themes and format as the original, and will be accompanied by a jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran performing his new music commissioned by The Soraya.

“Soraya has long been a leader in interdisciplinary work, a matchmaker between art forms and artists, and an honorary customer of new works,” said Thor Steingraber, executive and artistic director of The Soraya. “Over the years and many projects we have established rich relationships with The Martha Graham Company and its esteemed artistic director Janet Aylber and contributed to the company’s historic involvement in contemporary music dating back to Martha Graham’s commissions from great composers such as Aaron Copeland , and now continues with Christopher Rowntree, Wild Up and Jason Moran.


Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m.;


Younes and Soraya Nazaryan Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)

18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330.


Tickets start at $ 41 or 818-677-3000

In 2017, Soraya teamed up Eilber with Los Angeles-based conductor and composer Christopher Rowntree and his Wild Up ensemble, including their joint performances at the Paris Opera. Building on their six-year relationship, the three organizations have embarked on a multi-year project to record several compositions for which the recordings are lost and / or in poor quality. With several parts of Graham, for example A new song for comedians will be intensified, which will allow you to tour again in places where live music is impossible, which is almost all other venues.

The Soraya supported Jason Moran in 2016 when she presented Moran’s modern look as a Fats Waller holiday, and in 2020 when she featured Ava Duverne’s film. Selma with Moran performing his famous live score.

Martha Graham created the dance A song for innocent comedians in 1952. The work was built around eight virtuoso vignettes for the then stars of the Graham Company, each of which honored different aspects of nature – the Sun, Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and Moon, stars and death.

For A new song for innocent comedians, nine unusual choreographers with diverse dance experiences have created this new work for current Graham Company stars. Amy and Tony Award winner. Sonya Tae is a leading choreographer and will create Prelude, Final, and transitions for the ensemble, as well as a vignette called The sun. Excellent novice choreographers Christina and Sade Alain, Juliana Nunez, Mikaela Taylor, Yin Yueand Jen Freeman will create Earth, Water, Fire, Stars and Death.

Sir Robert Cohenwho danced in the original lineup in 1952, created a new one The wind for The song in 2020, just before his death. Section The moon will have its original choreography by Martha Graham. The New A song for innocent comedians The world premiere will take place at The Soraya, followed by a premiere in New York at the City Center on April 6th.

This is the second performance of the world-famous dance company on the stage of The Soraya this season and the fifth overall. The program also includes two classic works by Graham Crying (1930) and Chronicle (1936).

Tickets for the Martha Graham Dance Company start at $ 41 and are available at and by phone 818-677-3000. Soraya is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330.

About the Martha Graham Dance Company program on March 19th

In addition to A new song for innocent comediansin the program on March 19 also:


Crying The premiere took place in New York on January 8, 1930 at the Maxine Elliott Theater to the music of Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodali. The dance is performed almost completely sitting, the dancer is dressed in a tube of purple knitwear. The diagonals and tensions formed by the body of the dancer, who struggle in the material, create a moving sculpture, a portrait that represents the very essence of sorrow. The figure in this dance is neither human nor animal, neither male nor female: it is grief itself.

According to Martha Graham, after one performance of the work she was visited by a woman from the hall, who recently saw her child die in an accident. Viewing Crying allowed her to grieve, for she realized that “grief was a worthy and genuine feeling, and that I could succumb to it without shame.”


Chronicle The premiere took place at the Guild Theater in New York on December 20, 1936. The dance was a response to the threat of fascism in Europe; Earlier that year, Graham declined an invitation to participate in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, saying: “I would find it impossible to dance in Germany now. So many artists, whom I respect and admire, have been persecuted and deprived of the right to work for ridiculous and unsatisfactory reasons that I would find it impossible to identify myself by accepting the invitation with the regime that made it possible. ”

“Also, some of my concert group will not be welcomed in Germany” (referring to the fact that many of the members of her group were Jews). Chronicle not trying to show the realities of war; rather, it evokes images of war, shows a fateful prelude to war, reflects the devastation of the spirit it leaves behind, and offers an answer. ”

This is one of the few dances of Martha Graham, which can be said to clearly express political ideas, but, unlike Immediate tragedy (1937) and A deep song (1937), dances she performed in response to the Spanish Civil War, this dance is not a realistic depiction of events. The goal is to universalize the tragedy of war.

The original dance with Wallinger Rieger’s score lasted forty minutes and was divided into five sections: “Dancing before the Catastrophe: The Ghost of 1914 and the Mask”, “Dancing after the Catastrophe: Steps on the Street and the Tragic Holiday” and “Prelude to Action”. The company has reconstructed and is now performing “Spectrum 1914”, “Steps on the Street” and “Prelude to Action”.

Collaboration between The Soraya, Martha Graham Dance Company and Wild Up

Earlier, The Soraya, Wild Up and Martha Graham Dance Company celebrated the 70sth Anniversary of Appalachian Spring; century of women’s suffrage (19th Amendment) s EVE projectprogram choreographed by Pontus Lidberg and Pam Tanowitz – featuring the main characters and Chronicle, Graham’s memorable 1936 anti-war masterpiece. In 2017, three companies were introduced Martha Graham and American Music with Graham’s works with scores by Carlos Chavez, Samuel Barber and Norman Della Joyo.

In June 2020, The Soraya, Martha Graham Dance Company and Christopher Rowntree, acting as composers, premiered a collaborative digital dance that received critical acclaim, inspired by the archival remains of Graham’s works. Immediate tragedy. This program included a recently reworked stage version of the solo itself.

Graham created this dance in 1937 in response to the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War. We see a woman Immediate tragedy as a universal figure of determination and, finally, resilience. The dance was notable and well received, but when Graham stopped performing it in the late 1930s, the solo was forgotten and considered lost.

Janet Aylber reinterpreted choreography for Immediate tragedy using Graham’s recently discovered photographs in the 1937 play and many other archival references. The new score was created by Christopher Rowntree, inspired by pages of handwritten music by composer Henry Cowell that were found in Graham’s archives. Martha described her inspiration for this dance in a letter to Cowell: “… whether despair in Spain or in the memory in our hearts, the same thing. In this dance, I felt that I was re-dedicating myself to space, that despite the violation, I was staying upright and that I was staying upright at all costs … ”

About the Younes and Soraya Nazaryan Center for the Performing Arts

The 2021-2022 season marks the 10th anniversary of the famous Younes and Soraya Nazaryan Center for the Performing Arts (Soraya), located on the bustling and diverse campus of California State University in the heart of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

Led by executive and artistic director Thor Steingraber, The Soraya continues its vigorous commitment to innovation, improving and expanding access by offering a wide range of performances depicting many of Los Angeles ’distinctive communities and presenting new and original works from the Los Angeles region as well. artists from around the world. In 2020, The Soraya’s online programs attracted attention from around the world and media outlets such as The New York Times.

In addition to the LEED Gold-certified venue – a rarity among performing arts centers – Soraya’s 1,700-seat venue has received national recognition for its environmentally sustainable practices and programs.

After a year without live performances, the 2021-22 season offers a joyous reunion with a vibrant program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family and international events that will further establish The Soraya as one of Southern California’s leading art companies that lift your spirits and inspire your audience.

Martha Graham’s dance company returns to The Soraya with world premiere – NoHo Arts District

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