Fall 2007 Martha Graham Dance Company takes Ardent Song 'Redux' on tour

Martha Graham

The first of three commissions Hovhaness received from legendary dancer Martha Graham was for her Ardent Song, in 1954, widely regarded as one of her masterpieces. But with no video footage surviving from back then, for the company's 80th season the work has now been reconstructed as a premiere with 'Redux' tacked onto the title.  First performance was at the Shubert Theater, New Haven, Connecticut on June 22, 2007, with subsequent ones following in New York and on the dance company's Fall 2007 tour. Direction is by Susan McLain, a former principal Graham dancer.

Ardent Song is one of Hovhaness' most pointillistic-sounding scores. Interestingly, the ballet music in its original form was never handed over to his publisher, instead he used the music, with slight modifications and a few cuts, as his Symphony No.13.  Prior to these performances, however, publishing rights for the ballet version were finally assigned to CF Peters, in consultation with the Hovhaness estate.

For the company's 80th year celebration tour Ardent Song is appearing in matinee and evening performances alongside other Martha Graham classics such as Appalachian Spring (Copland), Errand into the Maze (Menotti), Night Journey (William Schuman), Diversion of Angels (Dello Joio), Lamentation (Kodály), and Sketches from Chronicle (Wallingford Riegger).

Another Hovhaness ballet score in performance this Fall is A Rose for Miss Emily (click link for more information).

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