A leap here, an arm swoop there — but besides that, don’t expect to see the grace of a ballerina when watching Martha Graham’s choreography.
Instead, be prepared for a series of hard, frenetic bursts that show why Graham is a pioneer of modern dance. Her strong, angular movements expressed anger and other internal struggles at a time when most modern dance was free-flowing. Graham founded her dance company in 1926 and, 81 years later, her original pieces still prove their relevance.
She also changed the look of modern dance performances by turning plain stage backdrops into three-dimensional spaces and hiring world-famous designers such as Calvin Klein and Oscar de la Renta to create bold, vibrant costumes for her dancers.