Martha Graham Dance Company

October 2 – 8, 1970

Country of Origin United States
Description Appearing as part of the 1970-71 Brooklyn Festival of Dance, the Martha Graham Dance Company presented 12 of its most iconic pieces, including Appalachian Spring and Letter to the World. While the MGDC had been appearing regularly at BAM since 1933, this performance was significant in that it was the first time Graham herself was not dancing with the company. Apparently Graham did not want this fact publicized, and on October 2nd, the morning of her company’s premiere, a front page story appeared in The New York Times with the headline, “Martha Graham, 76, to Dance No More.” Harvey Lichtenstein, former BAM president, recalls that she was furious the entire day. That night, just before the curtain opened, Graham suddenly appeared onstage and then walked behind the curtain, through the stage door, and into the auditorium. Lichtenstein recalls that “the minute the audience saw her, everyone was on their feet, absolutely jumping up and down and applauding and cheering. And she took a slow walk to her seat, a performer always, on stage or off. And the program began and she was fine, but she never danced on stage again after that.”
Identifier 1970f.00063