January 2015

ARTS CENTER OF COASTAL CAROLINA PRESENTS: martha graham dance company - 1/16

Author: Andrea Gannon

Lena Horne was an iconic singer, actress and activist and who brought passion and dignity to every aspect of her life. Her life was so rich with experience, onstage and off, that Author James Gavin wrote a biography about her entitled Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Gavin decided to turn it into a live show that has since become a “living, breathing biography” of Horne, combining story, song and images to give a defining portrait of this groundbreaking entertainer.

This dazzling and moving tribute is sung by the also-legendary Mary Wilson, who is accompanied by a jazz quartet. Songs include “Stormy Weather,” “Yesterday When I Was Young,” “A Lady Must Live,” “It’s All Right with Me,” and “Honeysuckle Rose,” among other phenomenal hits.

Best known as the founding member of The Supremes, Mary Wilson maintains an active solo career as a concert and musical theater performer. Since 1977, Wilson has released three solo albums, five singles and two best-selling autobiographies. In 1988, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with her fellow members of The Supremes.

From the Cotton Club’s glory days and the back lots of Hollywood studios to the glitzy resorts of Las Vegas, this behind-the-scenes look at an American icon is as much a story of the American dream as it is a masterful, ground-breaking biography. A thrilling entertainer, Lena Horne’s life and music still serve as standards for passion and commitment.

A combination of masterful singing by Mary Wilson with rare audio and visual images including interviews with Horne herself, makes for an unforgettable evening of theatre.

To see one beautiful singer channel another, see Mary Wilson Sings Lena Horne on Monday, January 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $80. Purchase online at tickets.artshhi.com or call the box office at (843) 842-ARTS (2787).

A legacy of magnificent movement
Martha Graham—surely one of the 20th century’s outstanding and most influential creators—was both a dancer and choreographer. The essence of theater, she influenced dramatists, actors and filmmakers, as well as a continuing throng of dancers and dance makers. When she died in 1991 at age ninety-six, her power and insight had been felt throughout the world and, to a large degree, continues to be.

The Martha Graham Dance Company, America’s oldest modern dance company and certainly one of its most celebrated, turns 88 this year, and Graham’s classic repertory remains luminous alongside thrilling and stylistically distinctive contemporary works.

When the Martha Graham Dance Company graces the Arts Center stage on January 16, the company will be performing two phenomenal contemporary works, Echo and Errand Into The Maze.

Particularly riveting is the new ballet, Echo, by Greek choreographer Andonis Foniandakis. This loose limbed, high velocity ballet takes the love story of Echo and Narcissus and shatters it in brilliant choreographic abstraction. Echo is the wood nymph doomed to repeat only the last words of anything she hears, and Narcissus is the young man who falls in love with his reflection. The driving elastic motion of the dancers will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Echo shares the program with Graham’s 1947 Errand Into The Maze, a loose retelling of the myth of Ariadne and the Minotaur, a monstrous creature that embodies the heroine’s deepest fears. The dance is really about the conquest of one’s inner demons and fears, a psychological journey Graham took repeatedly.

Tickets are $76 and on sale now. Purchase online at tickets.artshhi.com or call the box office at (843) 842-ARTS (2787). 

Sponsored by Dorothy A. and Frederick K. Beard, this performance is funded in part by grants from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

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