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?”
Theater director Anne Bogart and the actors of SITI Company along with nine dancers from the Martha Graham Company created a new work re-imagining Graham’s 1942 dance/theater piece, American Document. My writing about the creative process was published by the website, The Dance Enthusiast.
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.
[button color=pink url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/the-martha-graham-company_n_1613872.html]Read the rest of the Huffington post story…[/button]