Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance
the acquisition of studios at Westbeth
and a new residency program at Brooklyn College
The Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance has leased studios, offices, and production facilities at the Westbeth Housing Development Fund Corporation, 55 Bethune Street (Greenwich Village), NYC. The facility has been the home of the Cunningham Dance Foundation since 1970 and continues to serve artists in multiple disciplines who live and work in the complex.
The new space will allow the Center to consolidate its rehearsal, production, and archival activities in one location. Beginning in July 2012, the Center will begin to present the work of other choreographers, building on the Cunningham tradition of serving the New York dance community through access to performance space, affordable rehearsal studios, and technical assistance.
The move to the Westbeth studios will support the Martha Graham Dance Company’s enhanced mission: serving as home for choreography by building on the 181-dance repertory left by Martha Graham and also showcasing significant 20th century pieces and new work. The studio theater that has been the launching pad for so many young choreographers will also allow the Center to expand its much emulated audience development programs with regular lecture-demonstrations and open rehearsals that add context to choreography and reveal artists’ intention. The Center’s goal is to expand the audience for modern dance by offering new points of access with programs that welcome newcomers to the art form and enhance the experience of dance for those with greater familiarity. Executive Director LaRue Allen reports that “the new space gives us the opportunity to present dance on a regular basis, giving young artists their initial exposure and offering programs that expand dance literacy.” On a day-to-day basis, the ample 3,500 sq. ft. studio will give Graham dancers and others the chance to grow artistically and technically, unhampered by space limitations.
The Center is also pleased to announce a new residency program with Brooklyn College. The Martha Graham Dance Company initiated a program at the College in January 2012 with open rehearsals and lectures for the College community and students from surrounding High Schools, in the campus’s Walt Whitman Theater. The Company will be in residence in January 2013, offering additional programs and classes in Martha Graham TechniqueTM and repertory. A preview of the Company’s Joyce Theater season, Myth and Transformation, will be presented in January 2013.
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