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Martha Graham Dance Company 

When: Thu., Jan. 31, 8 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 1, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: Tickets start at $30
Cal Performances will bring a century of dance full circle this weekend when it presents the Martha Graham Dance Company, whose namesake performed at the Greek Theatre in 1916 with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers. She went on to eclipse her mentors, and everyone else, with seminal works like “Appalachian Spring” (1944), with its Pulitzer Prize-winning score by Aaron Copland, and “Cave of the Heart” (1946), a retelling of the Medea legend set to music by Samuel Barber. Graham passed away in 1991, but her company carries on and will revive those two works at Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Way below Telegraph Ave., Berkeley), along with her final creation, the “Maple Leaf Rag” (1990), with its score by Scott Joplin. The evening may sound nostalgic, but these works are as fresh as ever, and they reveal the origins of today’s contemporary dance. Gain insight into Graham’s work at a pre-performance talk by Marni Thomas Wood, a former Graham dancer and co-founder of Cal’s dance department, on Friday at 6 p.m. in the Durham Studio Theater, across from Dwinelle Annex.
— Claudia Bauer


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