Moments in Movement
How it’s possible for a dance company founded by a woman born in the 19th century to remain innovative, creative and relevant to an audience born in the 21st?
Joining the forum was Janet Eilber, former dancer, now Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance and from the company we met principal dancer Xin Ying and soloist Charlotte Landreau and we got to see them dance. The discussion was chaired by Douglas Barr, President of the Saint Helena Forum.
JANET EILBER has been the Center’s artistic director since 2005. Her direction has focused on creating new forms of audience access to the Graham masterworks. These initiatives include designing contextual programming, educational and community partnerships, use of new media, commissions and creative events such as the Lamentation Variations and Prelude and Revolt. Earlier in her career, as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Ms. Eilber worked closely with Martha Graham. She danced many of Graham’s greatest roles, had roles created for her by Graham, and was directed by Graham in most of the major roles of the repertoire. She soloed at the White House, was partnered by Rudolf Nureyev, starred in three segments of Dance in America, and has since taught, lectured, and directed Graham ballets internationally. Apart from her work with Graham, Eilber has performed in films, on television and on Broadway directed by such greats as Agnes deMille and Bob Fosse. She is married to screenwriter/director John Warren, with whom she has two daughters, Madeline and Eva.
XIN YING (Principal) joined the Company in 2011 and performs lead roles in Cave of the Heart, Chronicle, Diversion of Angels, Clytemnestra, Woodland and I Used To Love You, among others. In 2008 she received the China Dance Lotus Award. She was the director of the Dance Department at Sichuan College of Arts & Culture and a guest teacher at the Graham School, the Beijing Dance Academy and Nanjing University of Arts. She was awarded a full scholarship to the Graham School, and was a member of Graham 2.
CHARLOTTE LANDREAU (Soloist), a native of France, joined the Company in 2013. She dances Martha Graham’s own roles in Appalachian Spring, Errand into the Maze, and Night Journey and stars in Graham’s The Rite of Spring as well as in Diversion of Angels, Maple Leaf Rag and others. Ms. Landreau also performs in new works by top choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Pam Tanowitz and Bobby Jene Smith. She attended the Béjart School in Switzerland, studying acting and dance, before coming to NYC to study at the Martha Graham School. She danced with Graham 2 and was honored with the Excellence in Performance Award.