University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content
Official UB news and information for the media

Martha Graham Ensemble to Perform April 3 in Center for the Arts

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: March 9, 2004

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo will present Martha Graham Ensemble at 8 p.m. on April 3 in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

The Martha Graham Ensemble is the troupe of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance. The ensemble will perform works and excerpts from the honored Martha Graham repertory and of other choreographers who work in the Martha Graham tradition. A pre-performance talk will be offered at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Screening Room.

The full-length works to be performed by the Martha Graham Ensemble include "Diversion of Angels," "El Penitente" and "Acts of Light," all choreographed by Graham. "Diversion of Angels" is abstract, following no story, and exploring aspects of love. "El Penitente," which premiered in 1940, was inspired by Graham's visits to the Hopi and Santo Domingo populations in the 1930s. Graham touched on a recurrent theme of 'love, death, and rebirth' in "Acts of Light." The ensemble also will perform excerpts from "Canticle for Innocent Comedians," "Clytemnestra" and "A Dancer's World."

Martha Graham, who passed away in 1991, was named "Dancer of the Century" by Time magazine in 1998, the most recent of the numerous honors for her career. She was awarded 10 honorary degrees, three of which were from Rutgers, Harvard and Yale. Graham received the Medal of Freedom from President Gerald Ford in 1976, and the first ever National Medal of Arts from President Ronald Regan in 1985. The Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance continues her technique and legacy of uniquely American modern dance.

Kenneth Topping is the artistic director of the Martha Graham Ensemble. He joined the ensemble in 1984 and became principal dancer in 1990. Topping continues to dance with the Martha Graham Company and to teach Martha Graham technique all over the world. Topping was appointed director of the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in 2002.

Tickets are $22, $18, $16. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center for the Arts Box Office and at all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For Group Sales, call Karen at 645-6771. For more information, call 645-ARTS. The Center for the Arts is a TicketFast location.