Dance: Martha Graham Dance Company, Byham Theater





Pittsburgh, PA—The Pittsburgh Dance Council, a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, presents Martha Graham Dance Company in Diversion of Angels, Lamentation Variations, Dark Meadow Suite and commissioned work Woodland, choreographed by Pontus Lidberg, on Saturday, October 1, 2016, at 8:00 p.m., at the Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh PA 15222.  This performance will open the Pittsburgh Dance Council’s 2016-2017 season, now celebrating its 47th year.   “Martha Graham is one of the most recognized and influential names in dance history,” shared Randal Miller, Director of Dance Programming and Special Projects for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  “We are honored to host the dance company in celebration of their 90th anniversary milestone year and welcome them to Pittsburgh, the city where Ms. Graham was born.”

Martha Graham (1894-1991) is one of the most well-known and respected names in contemporary dance. Graham was born in Allegheny, PA, now referred to as Pittsburgh’s North Side.  Ms. Graham introduced a style of contemporary dance and iconic works that are recognized as the most innovative choreography from the 20th century of dance, such as Frontier, Appalachian Spring, Seraphic Dialogue and Lamentation.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of Martha Graham Dance Company that was founded in 1926 by Graham and is based in New York City.  Martha Graham was honored with the Local One Centennial Award (1986) and The Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor. The contemporary dance company continues to perform Graham’s masterpieces along with new works.  Through the years, Graham’s company of dancers have performed in more than 50 countries throughout the world.  “I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer,” Martha Graham said.  “It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable.”

Diversion of Angels celebrates love in many stages. Company dancers portray mature love, erotic love and young love.

Lamentation Variations was created in 2007 to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11.  Three choreographers have created short dances inspired by Graham’s famous 1930s solo, Lamentation.  The audience first sees a film of Graham dancing this signature solo. This is followed by the current company performing the three contemporary variations.

Dark Meadow Suite is considered to be one of Graham’s most complicated works.  The New York Times says, “It contains some of Graham’s most beautiful ensemble choreography, for a chorus of archaic lovers who amplify the heroine’s own search.”

Woodland, was commissioned for Martha Graham Dance Company and choreographed by Pontus Lidberg in April, 2016.  This work, with music set to string, features an ensemble of four couples and isolated female soloist.  Lidberg’s choreography creates an emotional story of yearning with elements of sharpness, in a classic Graham style.  To view Woodland, visit:

For more information about Martha Graham Dance Company, visit:;

To view choreographic works by Martha Graham Dance Company, visit:,

Company biographies:

Pittsburgh Dance Council previously presented Martha Graham Dance Company during its 9th (1979-1980), 19th (1988-1989) and 30th (1999-2000) seasons.

Tickets ($10-$60) are available through Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources:, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at the Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.  A limited number of $10 tickets, orchestra level, are being offered for Pittsburgh Dance Council presentations at the Byham Theater, available on a first come first served basis.  Subscription packages are available for: $60-$285. Subscriptions can be purchased in 4 show packages, with prices starting at $40. To subscribe, call 412-456-1390.  Groups of 10 or more tickets, please call 412-471-6930.  For more information visit,

Upcoming Pittsburgh Dance Council 2016-2017 (47th season) presentations include: performances at the August Wilson Center: October 21-22, 2016: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company; March 24-25, 2017: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre & Dance Theatre of Harlem; and performances at the Byham Theater: February 10-11, 2017: Pilobolus; March 4, 2017: Bereishit Dance Company; April 22, 2017: BJM Danse.  Randal Miller, Director of Dance Programming and Special Projects-Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, also shared about the current Dance Council season, “Dance has the power to move us in many ways.  By providing a platform for a myriad of creative expression, dance brings people together, to entertain and inspire us.  It encourages dialogue about contemporary issues and ideas.”

The Pittsburgh Dance Council acknowledges media partners 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP.

Pittsburgh Dance Council
The Pittsburgh Dance Council joined Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as a programming division 2002. The mission of Pittsburgh Dance Council is to bring the best contemporary dance companies from around the world to the Cultural District. Each season, Pittsburgh Dance Council presents diverse, world-class contemporary works, including U.S. and world premieres.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

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