Devotion (2021) commissioned and performed by Axelrod Contemporary Ballet at Bell Works, NJ. Original score by Chris Becker played live by the Axelrod Chamber Musicians.
This dance was the first group piece that I made live during the pandemic.
It was also the first public performance by these beautiful dancers in over a year and a half. Inspired by the resiliency of the performing arts community, “Devotion” is just that – dance as a devotional practice.
A critically acclaimed principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company (2001-2016, 2017), White-McGuire is a New York-based dance artist, writer, and educator. During her residence with the Loyola Dance Program, she will teach Graham technique and stage two excerpts from “Sketches from Chronicle” titled Steps in the Street and Prelude to Action for the Fall Mainstage Dance Concert.
✨ Read more about White-McGuire on the LUC Dance Program website (link in our bio)! ✨
Nevertheless, She Persisted will premiere at the Newhart Family Theater on November 18-21, 2021. In-person tickets are available for Loyola students and faculty, and livestream tickets are available for all audiences. 🎟️ Ticket link in our bio!
Dancer, Choreographer, and frequent contributor to The Dance Enthusiast, Blakeley White-McGuire shares with us excerpts of her newest choreographic endeavor These Worlds In Us and discusses her process, her motivations, her thoughts on favorites, and more… continue reading here: “The Dance Enthusiast Asks”
A bold dancer with a flair for the dramatic, Blakeley White-McGuire has been a principal with the Martha Graham Dance Company since 2002. She can command the stage with angst or humor, and has performed lead roles in Graham’s Appalachian Spring, Diversion of Angels, Errand Into the Maze, and Maple Leaf Rag. Growing up in southern Louisiana, White-McGuire started dancing at Mardi Gras balls.
“My first payment,” she says, “was in the form of a crystal bowl, which I then gave to my math teacher for helping me pass high school algebra.”
She came to NYC in 1993 and completed the Martha Graham Center’s Professional Trainee Program in 1996. She has also danced with Jacquelyn Buglisi, Martha Clarke, Sean Curran, Richard Move, Pascal Rioult, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. She has taught at The Ailey School, the Graham school, and the Neighborhood Playhouse. She has also presented her own choreography at Jacob’s Pillow and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. While on tour last April, White-McGuire responded to the question, “Why do I dance?”
While performing for the Festival of Ancient Plays in Siracusa, Sicily, I created a video blog and short written piece about the experience (which was formidable). Once again, dance brought me on a unique adventure.
A Postcard From Blakeley White-McGuire, Martha Graham Dance Company Principal Dancer
June 19th, 2012
It is rare for concert dancers to perform a two-month run of shows in an 8,000-seat ancient amphitheater on the extraordinary island of Sicily. However, ten dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company are here in Siracusa doing just that during the city’s 48th Annual Festival of Ancient Plays. MGDC Artistic Director, Janet Eilber, has choreographed several group dances and chorus stagings for two Greek tragedies; Prometeo by Aeschylus and Bacchanti by Euripides. Both of these works employ the unique movement vocabulary and the intrinsic animal qualities of Graham technique. These two successful, contemporary collaborations between theater and dance demonstrate that Graham’s singular movement language is completely contemporary, vital and an inspiration to both forms.
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This video by Steven Speloitis shows bits of The Martha Graham Dance Company rehearsing Maple Leaf Rag, which was choreographed by Graham with music by Scott Joplin. It is a fun dance which I have had the pleasure to perform many times with my partner, Maurizio Nardi!
The Dance Films Association selected me as artist-in-residence at the Art Mill in Jeffersonville, NY. There, I collaborated with designer and videographer Josh Higgason on a video performance piece titled Waterfall with sound score by composer, Chris Becker. Everything about this work was improvised and experimental for me. It facilitated a shift in my self-view as an artist by working in new-to-me ways with movement, nature, societal norms and performance art.
Sensing, feeling and responding to the force and temperature of the water allowed me to let shapes emerge. Initiated as a video dance project, in the process of doing it changed form into a meditative space of being in water. I would like to explore this kind of dance environment more as my body of work develops.