By Walter Rutledge
“My dancers never fall to simply fall. They fall to rise.” These are the words of legendary choreographer Martha Graham, but recent events have turned them into the message of oracle Martha Graham. The basement warehouse of the company’s new West Village rehearsal space was flooded during the Hurricane Sandy storm surge. This left the irreplaceable collection of sets, costumes, artifacts and technical equipment immersed in water for six days. To restore and rebuild the historic collection The Martha Graham Dance Company will present a benefit performance, Fall and Recovery on Tuesday, February 26, at 7:30pm at The Joyce Theater.
The evening will include special guest performances by Maria Kowroski and Martin Harvey (duet from Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue), Wendy Whelan and Ask la Cour (excerpt from Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain), and Irina Dvorovenko (The Dying Swan), as well as works created and performed by three choreographer/dancers: Michelle Dorrance, Francesca Harper, and David Neumann. In addition to the extraordinary line up of special guest performances The Fall and Recovery program will feature the world premiere of Luca Veggetti’s From the Grammar of Dreams, created as a special gift to the Graham Company in the wake of Hurricane Sandy; a sneak‐peak excerpt of Rust, a new work for the company created by Nacho Duato; a duet from Martha Graham’s Canticle for Innocent Comedians; and a new production of Graham’s 1935 solo, Imperial Gesture. Excerpts from Richard Move’s The Show (Achilles Heels), with an original score by Arto Lindsay and songs by Deborah Harry will also be presented.
The Company established the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund to help restore and/or recreate every object central to the Graham legacy and its future, while continuing the important work of the Martha Graham Dance Company during this challenging period. Damaged were original costumes worn by Graham, sets and jewelry designed by renowned Graham collaborator sculptor Isamu Noguchi and costumes created for public high school partner schools. At the present time the Graham Company is in the process of determining the best restoration plan for each piece in the collection. This massive task of rebuilding and restoring will take several years. Tickets for the Fall and Recovery benefit are $100 and can be purchased by calling 212 229 9200 x14 or online at www.marthagraham.org.