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Backstage

A breath of freedom

In rehearsal with the Martha Graham Dance Company — By Octave

Almost thirty years after they last appeared on the stage of the Palais Garnier, the Martha Graham Dance Company is returning with some of the most emblematic works in ITS repertoire. At the Studio Theatre on Bethune Street in New York, the dancers have been rehearsing for their Paris tour for several weeks now. Several excerpts brought together here offer a foretaste of an evening rich in emotion. From Appalachian Spring to The Rite of Spring, the choreographer never ceased to explore Native American rituals and the influences of Greek theatre. Her technique, based on the famous “contraction-release” draws on the sources of breathing to connect the intimate with the universal. The curves, spirals, and descents of the torso are also movements which raise the same question: how can the body convey meaning? From September 3 until September 8, the 20 dancers of the Company will be in Paris to try to answer those questions.

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