Country of Origin
Description Martha Graham gave her first NY concert in 1926, and performed for the first time at Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1933. The Bulletin of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, which was mailed out biweekly to announce programming, described her thus: “Martha Graham, recognized as one of the foremost exponents of the modern dance, will appear in a dance recital, aided by a group of sixteen with Louis Horst, at the piano…This American choreographer has been hailed by nearly all critics as a real genius in the wide and varied field of plastic aestheticism…Always effectively modernistic, Miss Graham, in her ability to interpret emotional power and to create an illusory atmosphere of primitive mysteries and stark realism, has proved a vital new force in this ancient art, an artist of rare worth, sincerity and intelligence.”
The year Graham debuted in Brooklyn, lectures, rather than arts, dominated programming at the Academy. The 20th century was still young. There was no TV and no PBS, but the world was growing smaller and more complicated, so audiences turned to the Academy to help understand it. The weeks surrounding the Graham performance, audiences also flocked to hear lectures on “Cosmic Rays” and Zulu marriage rites, and attended a “Philosophy Dinner” lecture offered in the ornate Ball Room (now the Lepercq Space).