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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Martha Matinees: Night Journey

Martha Graham Dance Company Online New York Stage

Up next—on November 4 and 7 at two-thirty P.M. E.T.—is Martha Graham’s Night Journey (1947), 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, and clips of Graham dancing Jocasta in the 1950s are included. On November 17 at seven P.M. “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. On November 25 at five P.M., a Zoom Q&A with Graham experts wraps up a month devoted to this masterpiece, one of Graham’s greatest. —L.J.

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