Two Ecstatic Themes (1931)
‘Two Ecstatic Themes is the keynote to Miss Humphrey’s mature work. The first part is in circular and spiral movements, soft and sinking, to convey a feeling of acquiescence. The second part, in contrast to the first, moves in pointed design to a strident climax suggestive of aggressive achievement. The whole is a counterpoint of circular and angular movement, representing the two inseparable elements of life as well as design.’ (Programme note 1935)
Main’s embodied knowledge of Humphrey’s dance style, evidence from the choreographer and coaching notes from Ernestine Stodelle are key factors in the transmission process to a 21st century dancing body.
Imperial Gesture (1935)
Jones describes her staging of the solo, Imperial Gesture (1935) as a re-imagining from ‘the source’, through her own embodiment of Graham’s work and style following her many years in the Martha Graham Company and as a Regisseur alongside the historical explorations she has undertaken to piece the work together again.
Kaddish for Ten Women (1945/2012)
Anna Sokolow’s solo Kaddish (1945) originally choreographed for Deborah Zall was re-staged by Zall as Kaddish for Ten Women in 2012. A short documentary film produced by Donnelly in collaboration with Zall illustrates the transmission of knowledge and highlights the importance of artistic dialogue between the film editor and principal artist in order to visually capture the essence of both the work and the ‘live process’.
Donnelly’s staging of Forest was undertaken from an experiential perspective – she danced the central duet – but she also had the choreographer to hand. The choreography started as movement studies done in silence but based on the dancers’ breath and sensitivity to each others’ rhythm and timing. The score of constructed natural sounds follows the dancers’ movements so that their sense of time determines the length of the dance, which will therefore vary in every performance. The dance is placed in an imaginary forest because Cohan wanted an environment with a sense of timelessness that everyone could relate to.
Agora (1984)/Lingua Franca (2014)
Cohan’s work is interrogated in a further context, through the choreographer’s most recent work with Yorke Dance Project. The new piece has come to fruition through the re-working of a choreographic idea that was used in Agora, originally set on London Contemporary Dance Theatre, then re- worked for Bergen Contemporary Dance. For this third time Cohan works with a group of diversely trained dancers coming together to find a shared ‘Lingua Franca’. The music is Bach’s Chaconne for unaccompanied violin but in this new work, Cohan is using a piano arrangement of the Chaconne by Busoni, which will eventually be played live by LCDT’s former accompanist and musical director Eleanor Alberga, a distinguished composer and Associate Artist with Middlesex University.
Le Marbre Tremble (1982/2014)
Dance – Research – Performance
Le Marbre Tremble was at its inception a collaboration between Mark Franko and photographer Ernestine Ruben.
The dance used Ruben’s large-scale photographic projections of the caryatids sculpted in the seventeenth-century by Pierre Puget. These two figures (Puget used galley slaves in the port of Marseille as models), one old and one young, were the pretext for the piece, which premiered at the Toulon Art Museum (France) in 1988 as part of a photography exhibit — Le corps/la galère: noir et blanc (The body and suffering: black and white). This dance was also performed in Berlin and New York.
Le Marbre Tremble will be danced again, this time as the product of the collaboration between Mark Franko and Fabian Barba. Fabian started learning this solo, originally performed by Mark, as a way to conjointly investigate the process of transmission of a dance, the relation of that dance to the context in which it was created and in which it is performed and the personal stories mobilized in this operation. The memories, reflections and sensations that constitute the dance will be called onto the stage as an accompaniment to it.