Created by Richard Move in collaboration with co-producer Janet Stapleton, the Martha @ ... series of performances
had humble beginnings in the fall of 1996 in a cabaret space called
Mother, in Manhattan’s notorious and fashionable Meat Packing District.
The event is designed to pay special tribute to the legendary Grande Dame of the
Dance, Martha Graham. This entirely unique performance became an immediate success, has been presented at major venues domestically, prestigious international festivals and featured on award winning television programs on PBS (Emmy Award), BBC and La Sept/France. Martha @ ... sold out New York’s 1,500 seat Town Hall, tours globally, and has been presented in alternative performance venues, as well as renowned theaters such as London’s Sadlers Wells, The Kennedy Center and grand Opera houses of Italy and Monaco.
Martha @ … commenced with “Cease and Desist” orders and threatened lawsuits from the Estate of the Martha Graham “Entities.” In 2006, however, Move performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company on the occasion of its 80th Anniversary at NYC’s Skirball Center. This event featured Move as Graham, performing both monologues and partnering the renowned dancer Desmond Richardson, in a reconstructed duet from Graham’s 1965 “Part Real - Part Dream.”
In 2007, Move was commissioned to create a new work for the Martha Graham Dance Company, “Lamentation Variations,” which premiered at NYC’s Joyce Theater on Sept 11, 2007. It has since been performed internationally as part of the Company’s touring repertory and its NYC seasons. “Move’s work, danced by Katherine Crockett, is otherworldly in its simple depiction of grief… Move understands the beauty in strength, and in this glimmer of an artist reacting to two potent muses — Ms. Crockett and Graham — he produces a work of blistering authenticity.” Gia Kourlas, The New York Times
In 2013, the Martha Graham Dance Company premiered Move’s evening –length work, The Show (Achilles Heels), at New York's Joyce Theater. The Financial Times review headline read, "Graham's 'Phaedra' was impressive for its storytelling, but it was another choreographer’s work that stole the show,” and proclaimed Move's work an "...hour long tour de force...now set on the Graham company, where it deserves a long life." The New York Post review called Move's "...aesthetic universal, and he does it so well that it can give you chills." The New York Post also named Lloyd Mayor "3 Young Men in Ballet to Watch" for "Achilles, the gender-bending role Baryshnikov originated in "The Show."
A two time winner of the New York Dance and Performance Award (a.k.a.
"Bessie"), this critically acclaimed event was established as
an alternative dance and theater series and quickly developed into a cultural
phenomenon, attracting celebrated names in dance, theater, music, film and media to both its audience and stage. Martha @ has featured collaborative, world premiere works created especially for the event, and presented both emerging artists and some of the most influential and prominent figures of dance including: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mathew Bourne, DANCENOISE, Ballet Frankfurt, Deborah Bull, Merce Cunningham, Nacho Duato, Molissa Fenley, Francesca Harper, Stuart Hodes, John Kelly, Robert LaFosse, Murray Louis, Lar Lubovitch, Wayne McGregor, Isaac Mizrahi, Meredith Monk, Mark Morris, Julie Atlas Muz, Tere O’Connor, Maria Pages, Stephen Petronio, Yvonne Rainer, The Royal Ballet, Gus Solomons Jr., Paul Taylor and Basil Twist, among countless others.
Richard Move has won accolades and admirers worldwide with his highly
developed, entertaining and academically researched portrayal of the mother
of Contemporary Dance. Although the performance is in no way connected
with the ‘Martha Graham Entities’, former Graham company members,
from the early years to the present, are some of Richard Move’s collaborators
and most ardent supporters. In all of its touring formats - described
below - Move as ‘La Graham’, presides over and hosts the evening,
by presenting loving and often satiric re-stagings and distillations of
Graham's epic ballets and delivering monologues that are witty, poetic
Both the monologues and dances illuminate Graham’s unparalleled
career, body of work and groundbreaking contribution to 20th Century Art
and thought, all while revealing what Graham called the ‘interior landscape’
of the artist’s creative process. All of the material has been developed
through extensive study, research and Move’s keen eye for detail.
Martha @ ... One Person Show
The quintessential Diva, Martha tours both singly-often as a Gala/Special
event host and MC- as well as in a full evening one person show. Presenters
of this program have included the PICA Festival in Portland, Oregon, Coe
College in Des Moines, Iowa and numerous Gala evenings internationally.
Martha @ ... Two-Person Show
In addition, the ‘Two Person’ Martha @ ... a favorite
of many presenters and audiences alike, includes one of Move’s leading
women - all of whom are present or former members of the Martha Graham
Dance Company. The Two-person show has been a tremendous success from
Santa Barbara to Berlin and from Paris to Boston.
Martha @ ... Full Company
Martha’s full ‘company’ may be comprised of two to
five dancers. Often Move has worked with as many as fifteen dancers as
“Martha’s Company", particularly for New York City performances
including Martha @ Town Hall and Martha @ The Jane Street
Martha @ ... Variety Show
In addition, Martha is available in the popular variety show
format, similar to New York's extraordinarily popular Martha @ Mother
series, in which Martha's monologues and dances serve to connect
together an evening featuring local guest artists, who perform their own
short works. As a choreographic showcase, the event is committed to presenting
both emerging and established artists, as well as historical reconstructions
and ethnic dance styles. Martha's distinguished guests have included
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, Murray Louis, Meredith
Monk, Mathew Bourne, Maria Pages, Nacho Duato, Yvonne Rainer and members
of London’s Royal Ballet, to name but a few. This variety show format
- a nod to Graham’s early vaudeville success in the Greenwich Village
Follies - brings the local community’s artists and audiences to
the performances and becomes a highly successful theatrical event, exciting
the entire community. This format may feature ‘Martha’ singly,
with one leading female dancer, or ‘Martha’s’ full company
Martha @ ... Additional Performance Opportunity
In addition, high level advanced and pre -professional dancers, skilled
in the Graham technique, may augment ‘Martha’s Company’
in one (or more) of the Graham based works that comprise the Martha @
... performances. Students from the Laban Center in London, joined Move
as ‘Martha’s Company’ to great acclaim in London’s
Martha@ The DanceUmbrella Festival. And, most recently, a similar scenario
was wonderfully successful in Israel, where the most gifted pupils of
the Jerusalem Academy performed along side Move’s Company in Martha
@ The Suzanne Dellal Center.
Martha @ ... Charles Atlas Video
Each event also features a provocative video work by renowned filmmaker
and pioneering dance videographer Charles Atlas. This pre-show video is
comprised of excerpts culled from the full spectrum of dance styles, interspersed
with clips from film and television, which use the name ‘Martha’.
This brilliantly edited and often hilarious video collage is shown pre-
performance, as the audience enters the theater. Atlas received a Bessie
award for his Martha @ ... video works.
Often in conjunction with live ‘Martha @ ...’ performances,
the film Ghostlight - a feature inspired by the life and work
of Martha Graham, is available for special screenings, through an arrangement
with the film’s distributor, Palisades Pictures. These screenings
have been especially popular in conjunction with live Martha @ ...
performances. Move is present at these screenings to both introduce the
film and lead a post screening Q&A addressing not only the content
of the film, but the experience of an independent filmmaker, from initial
concept through the film festival circuit and on to distribution. Ghostlight
Screenings have been successful in locations as diverse as San Diego (presented
by the La Jolla Music Society), to the Monaco Dance Forum and the Coe
College Film Series in Des Moines, Iowa. Move’s performance in Ghostlight
has been described as “a performance for the Ages” - New
York, “Glorious’- The New York Times and “Magnificent.
Graham herself could not have done better.” - The Daily News
Martha @ ... was featured on the PBS Television program City
Arts - The Best of Dance and received a 2000 Emmy Award for "Fine
Outstanding Arts Program", the BBC World News Program Arts Express
and the BBC Documentary Bourne to Dance. Martha @ ...
has toured extensively both domestically and internationally, appearing
in a variety of venues, from intimate black box theaters to Opera House
stages. Touring dates have included: The Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival,
Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, Pittsburgh, Miami, Los Angeles,
San Diego, Chicago, Portland, Oregon, Santa Barbara, Des Moines and Grinnell,
Iowa, Boulder, Co., Festival RomaEuropa/Italy, Tanzfest/Berlin, SpringDance/
Holland, Holland Dance Festival, Salzburg Festival/Austria, Frankfurt,
Germany, DanceUmbrella/London, Festival De Otono/Madrid, Monaco Dance
Forum, Tel Aviv and on tour in the UK and Italy (where Martha
performs her monologues in Italian!)
This is in no way connected
to or sponsored by
the Martha Graham Entities.