Skip to Content

A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Martha Matinees: Night Journey

Martha Graham Dance Company Online / New York / Stage

Martha Graham’s Night Journey (1947), is the third dance in a Greek trilogy that includes Cave of the Heart and Errand Into the Maze. The music is by William Schuman, the set by Isamu Noguchi, and the costumes by Graham herself. Based on Sophocles, the dance is about Queen Jocasta, fated to marry Oedipus, who turns out to be her son—her husband had ordered him killed as an infant, but he was saved by a shepherd and raised by a king. The action, Graham wrote, “takes place in Jocasta’s heart at the instant when she recognizes the ultimate terms of her destiny.” The tragedy ends in blindness and death. In November of 2020, Martha Matinees streamed a number of shows on Night Journey, one of which includes clips of Graham dancing Jocasta in the 1950s. “Graham Deconstructed” features generations of Graham dancers discussing their roles in Night Journey, and a complete film from 2016, annotated with commentary from Graham’s writings. A Zoom Q&A with Graham experts wrapped up a month devoted to this masterpiece, one of Graham’s greatest. All shows are available online. —L.J.

Subscribe to the Martha Graham Dance Company YouTube channel:

Start a New Search
Subscribers Only

Start your free trial to access the full Arts Intel Report

Subscribe to Air Mail to access every article
and search our entire Arts Intel Report.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in here.