October Dance 2023 features the historic work Steps in the Street (from Chronicle) by Modern Dance pioneer Martha Graham. Created in 1936 during the rise of Fascism in Europe, this work captures a spirit of resistance and resilience that is powerfully relevant today. This iconic group work will be performed to live music by the American modernist composer, Wallingford Riegger, newly orchestrated by Dance at Illinois Music Director John Toenjes and conducted by Frances Ho.
Undergraduate student Nawal Assougdam’s family is from Morocco, a country recently ravaged by an earthquake. Her work features music and movement of the Amazigh Sous regions of Morocco and invites the audience to enjoy a pictorializing of the tradition of sharing a warm cup of tea (atay) – a staple in Moroccan culture.
Professor Cynthia Oliver’s new work captures the visceral and sonic reverberations riding in sound and throughout the body. Beats, breaks, drum hits, and rim shots collide to music by local musicians James Mauck, Mark White, and Jason Finkelman. The work brilliantly maps the complex inter-workings of being in a dynamic ever-shifting landscape of community.
Set to a new score by Elliot Reza Emadian, Assistant Head Anna Sapozhnikov asks the dancers to traverse deep memories. Heartbeats, bells, and other sounds of nostalgia interrupt and disrupt their paths, forcing them to careen and ricochet off each other into space. Time is the ever-present element, driving us forward and backward simultaneously and urgently and with constant surprises.
Assistant Professor Alexandra Barbier’s piece is a playful tribute to her memories of adolescent realms, recalling the movements and rhythms of playgrounds, bus rides, church fairs, slumber parties, and school dances. Barbier challenges the divide between audience and performer and offers an intimate experience of togetherness.
Thursday, October 12 - Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 7:30PM CT in the Tryon Festival Theatre
See the Krannert Center website for more details and to purchase tickets.
Prior to the opening night performance on Thursday, October 12, Dance at Illinois will host a panel discussion, moderated by Sara Hook, Head of the Department of Dance, with Martha Graham Regisseur, Elizabeth Auclair, and dramaturg, Betsy Brandt at the Spurlock Museum's Knight Auditorium at 6:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
The following items from MPAL's collections relate to Martha Graham. Physical items in the library's collection can be borrowed by anyone with an i-card or courtesy card, while online resources can be viewed on library computers or by logging in with your NetID. Physical items are located in the Music & Performing Arts Library unless otherwise noted.
To find more related materials, search our library catalog for "Martha Graham" and use the resource type filter to specify if you want a book or recording.
You may want to go beyond MPAL resources and consider consulting archival materials. For example, the Library of Congress has digitized their collections related to Martha Graham.
Newspapers are an excellent resource for finding reviews of dance performances and understanding how audiences reacted at the time of the premiere. The online database linked below is an excellent starting point for finding reviews. Online resources can be access via library computers or by logging in with your NetID.
To find reviews, search by choreographer, dance company, title of the piece, or theatre where it premiered. Use the date filters to specifiy a time period. Below are some examples of reviews from the first and second performances of Martha Graham's Chronicle.
The Martha Graham digital collection from the Library of Congress also includes numerous reviews from their collections.
The following books from MPAL's collections relate to modern dance and its history in the United States. Physical items in the library's collection can be borrowed by anyone with an i-card or courtesy card, while online resources can be viewed on library computers or by logging in with your NetID. Physical items are located in the Music & Performing Arts Library unless otherwise noted.
To find more related materials, search our library catalog for Modern dance, Dance - United States, Dance - 20th century, Dance companies and use the resource type filter to specify if you want a book or recording.
The following resources were identified as influences for the choreographers featured in this year's October Dance, or more broadly discuss their creative process.