Graham dancers popping up Sunday at Clark Art Institute


WILLIAMSTOWN — The Clark Art Institute will host a special pop-up performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company, 1-3 p.m., Sunday, at various locations in and around the Clark's reflecting pool.

The free event is presented in collaboration with Jacob's Pillow Dance.

The Graham company will be performing at Jacob's Pillow's Ted Shawn Theatre Wednesday through Saturday.

Sunday's program includes some of Martha Graham's most revered and iconic choreography, along with a creative project titled "The 19 Poses" (2019), a structured improvisation arranged by artistic director Janet Eilber and the dancers. The 19 Poses for the 19th Amendment project was created in celebration of the upcoming 2020 centenary of the adoption of the 19th amendment granting American women the right to vote.

Beginning at 11 a.m., members of the company will assist Clark visitors in learning the 19 Poses on the Fernandez Terrace of the Clark Center. Visitors will have the opportunity to photograph themselves in the poses, post them on social media and use them creatively as a memento.

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Three works choreographed by company founder Martha Graham highlight the afternoon:

- "Diversion of Angels" (1948) was once described by Graham as representing three aspects of love — a couple in red embodies romantic love and "the ecstasy of the contraction"; a couple in white represents mature love; and a couple in yellow symbolizes a flirtatious and adolescent love. Graham recalled that when she first saw the work of modern artist Wassily Kandinsky, she was astonished by his use of color - a bold slash of red across a blue background. She determined to make a dance that would express this.

- "Lamentation" (1930) is performed almost entirely from a seated position, with the dancer encased in a tube of purple jersey. The diagonals and tensions formed by the dancer's body struggling within the material create a moving sculpture that represents grief itself.

- "Ekstasis" (1933) is thought to be the 37th creation by Graham.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket to provide outdoor seating. In the event of inclement weather, the performance will move indoors.


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