Martha Graham © Cris Alexander

California Connections: Three Pioneering Women

A powerful mixed-bill illuminates the ground-breaking work of three icons of contemporary dance. Touring UK 2023/24
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Yorke Dance Project celebrates our 25th anniversary with a new programme honouring the company’s connection to California and the legacies of three pioneering female choreographers—Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham and Bella Lewitzky. This powerful mixed-bill illuminates the ground-breaking work of these three icons of contemporary dance. 

Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet Isadora, was created in 1981. This original three-act ballet captured the life of San Francisco native, Isadora Duncan. YDP’s Isadora has been reimagined and distils MacMillan’s original into a one-act, chamber work exploring the conflict between Isadora’s search for love and her pioneering mission to change the very nature of the art of dance.

Martha Graham spent her formative years in Santa Barbara, California. She experienced her first dance performance, by the Denishawn Company, in Los Angeles, whom she soon went on to dance with. Graham created her masterpiece Errand into the Maze in 1947, exploring the depths of human fear and sexual power struggles, based on the legends of Ariadne, Theseus and the Minotaur

Lewitzky, whose highly acclaimed company was rooted in Los Angeles, made the boldly sculptural and physically demanding Meta 4 with an original score  by Robert Xavier Rodriguez in 1994. 

Rounding out the programme, artistic director, Yolande Yorke-Edgell premieres a new work inspired by the power of these three women and the essence of their enduring legacies.


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