Northrop MOVES Online: Experience New Martha Graham Dance Creation Digitally

Jun 17, 2020

Hello Northrop Community,

Welcome to this week’s Northrop MOVES Online. Many of you, like myself, were looking forward to seeing Martha Graham Dance Company perform at Northrop this past April. While we will have to wait a while longer to see them live and in person, Northrop is thrilled to be partnering with MGDC, The Soraya, and Wild Up to bring you the world premiere this week of a new digital dance work, Immediate Tragedy.

In 1937, in response to the Spanish Civil War, Martha Graham created a solo work titled Immediate Tragedy with music composed by Henry Cowell. This piece was never documented on film and had been considered lost until recently when photos, musical notations, and writings related to the piece were discovered by author Neil Baldwin. These findings provided Janet Eilber, artistic director of Martha Graham Dance Company, with the creative foundation to reimagine the Graham original and create something truly innovative and unique in response to our own immediate tragedies.

As the times require, each of the 14 dancers and 6 musicians collaborated remotely with video editor Ricki Quinn and composer Christopher Rountree, recording from their own homes across the U.S. and Europe using a variety of technologies to coordinate movement, music, and digital design. The resulting work explores the very immediate idea of how we can be together while we are tragically required to be apart, during a time when more than ever, we need to come together to stand against racial injustice and inequity. The world premiere of Immediate Tragedy, commissioned by The Soraya and created in collaboration with Wild Up music collective will premiere on Fri, Jun 19 at 6:00 pm. You can watch the 30-minute world premiere, which will include interviews with the collaborators, a screening of a recent performance of Deep Song, a solo which the choreographer created as a companion to Immediate Tragedy in 1937, and the premiere of the new digital Immediate Tragedy, which is 10 minutes long, on Northrop’s Facebook page.

Martha Graham Dance Company’s new work Immediate Tragedy is just one more example of the innovative, creative ways that artists are creating and sharing their work digitally during this unusual and prolonged time of isolation and physical distancing. I hope you are following Northrop’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram social media channels for Daily Inspiration posts to keep you inspired and connected to the artists you have come to love through your experiences at Northrop!

I look forward with great anticipation to the day when we can throw open our doors and welcome you back in person. In the meantime, please stay safe, healthy, connected, and inspired.


Kari Schloner
Director of Northrop

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