Graham dancers end boycott
<img src="http://www.het-nationale-ballet.nl/new/images/play/newyorkmeesters.jpg" alt="" />
<small>"Acts of Light" from the lovely Dutch National Ballet's website
Another step marking a return to normal for the Graham legacy. One key event in this contaxt is Dutch National Ballet's performance of Graham's "Acts of Light" scheduled for March 2003.
September 18, 2002 (New York) In light of the United State Federal Court
decision of August 23, 2002, we, the dancers of the Martha Graham Dance
Company, officially rescind our request of fellow artists around the world
to refrain from licensing or performing the works of Martha Graham.
We celebrate the ruling issued by the Honorable Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum of
the Southern District of New York who decreed that the Martha Graham Center
is the rightful owner of almost all of the ballets, sets, and costumes
contested during the latest trial between the Martha Graham Center and Ron
Protas. This long-awaited ruling establishes the rightful ownership of the
ballets, sets and costumes and thus clears the way for the Martha Graham
Dance Company to continue to perform the works of Martha Graham as it has
done for over 75 years.
The problems that existed between Ron Protas and the Center over the years
were very difficult for us. When the Center voted to suspend operations on
May 25th 2000 and Mr. Protas revoked the then existing licensing agreement,
we had no option but to ask the international dance community to support us
in our efforts to prevent the performance of Ms. Graham's works until the
ownership issue was settled. We are most grateful for all of those
individuals and institutions that have supported us during this extremely
difficult hiatus. Never before in the history of dance in America has such
a monumental struggle taken place to preserve the work of such a great
artist. The efforts of so many, including the superb and highly skilled
legal team of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, supported and sustained us and were
extremely instrumental in the process which has led to this landmark ruling.
The victorious ruling last year granted the Martha Graham Center the right
to use the name Martha Graham and to teach the world-renowned Martha Graham
technique. This permitted the Center, as well as the Martha Graham School
of Contemporary Dance which had reopened in January of 2001, to continue its
operations. Despite that victory, the Martha Graham Dance Company was
unable to perform the ballets of Martha Graham, with the one exception of a
single performance on May 9, 2002, until the ownership issue was resolved.
Now, this profound ruling unquestionably frees the company from further
obstacles to continue its mission.
Other than the May 9, 2002 performance at City Center in New York, the
company has not performed for over two years. That sold-out performance was
a clear reminder of the significance of the work of Martha Graham, and the
upcoming New York Season at the Joyce Theater starting January 21, 2003 will
pave the way for the company's continued existence.
This situation and all the rulings are precedent setting. We are most
honored now to be able to continue to do our destined work. We, as well as
all the many generations of dancers from this company, all of whom are
uniquely trained in the technique and aesthetics of the Graham theater, are
poised to meet the many challenges that lie ahead in order to ensure the
future of the Martha Graham Dance Company and the works of Martha Graham.
We, the dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company, wish to convey our
deepest gratitude to the international arts community and those from various
professions and organizations who have supported us over these past
Now, on to the future.
The Dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company:
<small>[ 09-23-2002, 13:14: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>