Gestures That Matter – The Arts in Society Conference, Paris, France.

Speaking as embodied/somatic researcher in collaboration with Associate Professor Kim Jones from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as literal/ephemeral researcher and choreographer –  we presented the process and methodology for our research and embodiment of the contemporary re-imagining of Martha Graham’s lost dance, Imperial Gesture (1935) to The Arts in Society Conference, 2017 in Paris, France.

Our presentation titled Gestural Lineage: Evoking feeling through practiced, intentional gestures for dance reconstruction, resonated strongly with the conference’s themes including art theory and history, authenticity and voice, the ethics of art and art practice
arts products, aura and artifact, mimesis, sense-making, authenticity, authority, and semiotics. I especially enjoyed that we presented research that was both practice and research focused.

I offer special thanks to my research and creative partner Kim Jones as well as Orsolina 28 for an inspired artistic residency.

Here is a link to Rafael Molina’s blog covering our presentation.

 

 

Open for Transmission

Blakeley OPT

The Moving Beauty Series proudly returns to production with Blakeley White-McGuire’s “Open for Transmission”.

Ms. White-McGuire invites you to this captivating evening of dance and spoken word. Using the power of beautiful bodies in motion and innovative audience engagement, “Open For Transmission” will stimulate your mind and transport your spirit to a new dimension. It’s all in the name of fost… See More — with Chanel DaSilva, Emily Dean, Lorenzo Pagano, Lauren Newman, XiaoChuan Xie, Kate Reyes, Blakeley McGuire and Jayoung Chung.

Press 2106

Review excerpted from Philip Gardner’s Oberon’s Grove, 2016.

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Blakeley White-McGuire as Jocasta in Martha Graham’s NIGHT JOURNEY

Hibbard Nash Photography

Thursday April 14th, 2016 – Celebrating their 90th anniversary, The Martha Graham Dance Company opened their season at City Center with a program that featured two Graham masterpieces, a world premiere, and a powerful Mats Ek duet originally created for film.

The Mannes Orchestra under the baton of David Hayes provided live music for the two Graham works. And the dancing was magnificent.

NIGHT JOURNEY, Martha Graham’s telling of the Oedipus story as a flashback in the mind of Queen Jocasta in her final moments of life, premiered in 1947. William Schuman wrote the score, which is atmospheric and rhythmically inspired by the twists and turns in the narrative. The Isamu Noguchi set, and the costuming (Martha Graham’s designs), create a sense of timeless drama.

Although Blakeley White-McGuire made a gorgeous ‘Company farewell’ performance last February, goddesses have the power to disappear and reappear at will. When Nir Arieli and I stopped in to watch a rehearsal last week, Blakeley was there, sportingly holding down a spot in the ‘chorus’ and looking radiant as ever. “Something’s up!”, I thought. You can’t imagine how happy I was to find the White-McGuire name listed for Jocasta tonight.

Her performance was a marvel in every respect: Blakeley’s supple strength, her Olympic-athlete physique, her intrinsic sense of character and of dramatic nuance, and the compelling surety of her dancing produced a glorious personification of the tragic Jocasta. One of the most distinctive beauties in the history of dance, Blakeley’s performance held us enthralled from start to finish; the wave of cheers that greeted her solo bow was so genuinely deserved. Surely she could feel the love pouring across the footlights.

 


The New York Times
Review: Martha Graham Dance Company Displays Unorthodox Humor    By SIOBHAN BURKE FEB. 16, 2015

Excerpt:
“Yet the Graham dancer as heroine can be joyous, too, like the flame-haired Blakeley White-McGuire in “Errand,” a 1947 telling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. (Graham’s Theseus, of course, is a woman.) No one in the company commands its founder’s style quite like Ms. White-McGuire, with such innate, unswerving conviction — though in “Deep Song,” the 1937 solo that opened the program, Ms. Ellmore-Tallitsch came close.”

Errand

 

The Wall Street Journal
Dance Review
An Angelic Diversion
The Martha Graham Dance Company pays tribute to its namesake in ‘Shape&Design.’
By Robert Greskovic
Feb. 17, 2015 6:21 p.m. ET

Excerpt:
“Like the fascinating Arch Lauterer scenic designs for “Letter,” those by Isamu Noguchi for Graham’s 1947 “Errand into the Maze” were damaged by superstorm Sandy in 2012. This season marked the first time since then that the work could be performed with its full-scale Noguchi elements. The performance I saw was graced not only by a fine remake of Noguchi’s spare, space-enhancing scenic pieces, but also by the appropriately keen, dramatic and nuanced performing of Blakeley White-McGuire and Abdiel Jacobsen, as the nameless individuals who suggest Ariadne and the Minotaur in Graham’s take on the mythological tale of the labyrinth. In the role of the woman, originally Graham herself, confronting her fears as if hunted and haunted by the bestial, horned male figure pursuing her, Ms. White-McGuire gave a portrayal of individuality and distinction.
While Gian Carlo Menotti’s sometimes pounding and heavily accented score tempts the performer of Graham’s variously shuddering, high-stepping and head-bobbing details to overdo their punctuations, Ms. White-McGuire was measured, embodying a formidable woman of introspection and emotional depth. Mr. Jacobsen’s often emphatic choreographic accentuation trod a line more darkly dramatic than heavily melodramatic.”

 

Review Quotes:

“eloquently gutsy” – Gia Kourlas/The New York Times

“Blakeley’s supple strength, her Olympic-athlete physique, her intrinsic sense of character and of dramatic nuance, and the compelling surety of her dancing produced a glorious personification of the tragic Jocasta. One of the most distinctive beauties in the history of dance, Blakeley’s performance held us enthralled from start to finish”
– Philip Gardner/Oberon’s Grove

“Allowing the movement to speak for itself, fluent and superbly authoritative, White-McGuire made this passion convincing”. – Robert Johnson/The Star Ledger

“ No one in the company commands its founder’s style quite like Ms. White-McGuire, with such innate, unswerving conviction” -Siobhan Burke/The New York Times

“Blakeley White-McGuire, [whose] vivid life-force made the sacrifice all the more poignant.”
– Kate Dobbs Arial/Five Points Star

Appalachian Spring Through The Generations

“Appalachian Spring” celebrates 70 years!

March 20 and 22, catch the Martha Graham Dance Company’s performances of the masterpiece collaboration at 8:00 pm each night.

http://bit.ly/1nRcJ0X

Article Published in Performance Research Journal, U.K.

Abstract:
Live acts of falling in performance give form to the unseen force of gravity which is behind each initiation of our every earthly movement. In Re-examining the Inevitable Rise, Blakeley White-McGuire, Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company for over a decade, interweaves reflections on technical falling practices within the canon of historical Modern dance with those practices of present day Contemporary dance performance. Through her embodied and internalized understanding of the kinesthetic risk involved with truly physically falling in performance, she delves into the relationship between technique as a means of successful execution and the existential quality of energy that emerges from the personal experience of performing a universal metaphor. Whether through somatic awareness, existential relationship or metaphor, falling provides a necessary construct to practice recovery.

 

Read the entire essay here : https://blakeleyarts.com/wp-content/uploads/Re-examining-the-Inevitable-Rise.pdf

Beauty in Motion: Members of the Martha Graham Company; Friday, August 30, 2013 7:30 PM

Blakeley White-McGuire & Jacquelyn Elder perform "Woman"
Blakeley White-McGuire & Jacquelyn Elder perform “Woman”

Beauty in Motion: Members of the Martha Graham Company

http://gretnamusic.org/mag.htm

Friday, August 30, 2013 7:30 PM

Mt. Gretna Playhouse
1 Alpha Drive
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
717-361-1508

Physical grace meets contemporary thinking in choreography by Peter Sparling, Janet Eilber, Blakeley White-McGuire, Flor Villizan and XiaoChuan Xie set to the music of Missy Mazzoli, Jean-Phillipe Rameau, Zoe Keating, New York Electric Piano and more, and featuring star performers from the world-renowned Martha Graham Dance Company.

Dancers: Lloyd Knight, Maryia Dashkina Maddux, Lorenzo Pagano, Ben Schultz, Blakeley White-McGuire and XiaoChuan Xie