Works
 

Demeter and Persephone

Description

Two years after Martha Graham’s death, Tharp created a new work for Graham’s company – the first choreographer ever to do so. "I thought of [her] early female companies and of my female companies,” Tharp recalls. “I thought of Graham as a female artist and how indebted I was to her for all that she has done in that area." Demeter and Persephone was created as a gift of thanks for her influence and to revisit the technique Tharp studied under Graham in 1962.

Tharp combines Greek mythology and Yiddish theater in this work about mothers, daughters and the matrilineal tradition of modern dance. Christine Dakin, who joined the company in 1976, danced the role of Demeter, while Rika Okamoto danced the role of her daughter Persephone. The final dancer to join the company before Graham’s passing, Okamoto was the last of Graham’s direct lineage.

Photos

89
  • Tharp rehearses with the Martha Graham Dance Company. ©Jesse Huot
  • Tharp in rehearsal with the Martha Graham Dance Company. © Jesse Huot

Video

Dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company in studio and dress rehearsal.
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Music

Music Program:

Bulgur A La Klezmatics
Performed by The Klezmatics
From the album "Rhythm and Jews"
Released by Pirahna/Rounder - 1990

Theme, Doina and Freylekhs 21
Performed by The West End Klezmorim
From the album "Freylekhs 21"
Released by Global Village Music - 1991

Ir Kleyne Likhtelekh (Oh, You Little Lights)
Performed by the Klezmer Conservatory
Released by Rounder

Audio Sample: 

Bulgur A La Klezmatics
Performed by The Klezmatics

Performance History

Twyla Tharp Dance
New York City Center, New York, NY
September 14, 1993
Notes:

Additional performances on September 16, 18, 21, 23 & 25, 1993
Works on this program: Fever (premiere), Octet, Demeter & Persephone (preview), In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
New York City Center, New York, NY
September 15, 1993
Notes:

Additional performances on September 17-18, 22 & 24-25, 1993
Works on this program: Fever, Sextet, Demeter & Persephone (preview), Nine Sinatra Songs, Baker's Dozen

New York City Center, New York, NY
October 13, 1993
Notes:

Premiere performance