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All the Right Moves

Dance troupe shows off fancy footwork — just like Braylon Edwards!

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The esteemed Martha Graham Dance Company hasn't performed in Cleveland in more than a decade. America's oldest contemporary dance ensemble celebrates its 80th anniversary this year with a nationwide tour. It stops at Playhouse Square for a pair of performances this weekend. "The choreography will be brought to a new generation," says spokeswoman Michelle Jackson. "Martha Graham is an icon of the 20th century."The troupe will perform some of its classic pieces this weekend. It will also debut a long-lost work called "Ardent Song," which was first danced in the 1950s. But it's the 1936 opus "Chronicle" that'll wow audiences, says Jackson. It's all about the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Great Depression, and the Spanish Civil War. "All that pain and anguish — that's what is wonderful about it," she says. Jackson credits Graham for revolutionizing dance back in the day. "Prior to her, modern dance was this flowing, primeval thing," she says. "Her movement requires so much discipline. If you like football, you'll like Martha Graham. Her dancers know how to move — just like a great receiver knows what to do on the field." The Martha Graham Dance Company performs at 8 tonight and at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Avenue. Tickets range from $18 to $60. Call 216-241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.com for more information.
Sat., Nov. 3, 2 p.m., 2007

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