Anne Bogart: Making American Document

Jun 10, 2010

The Clyde Fitch Report recently ran an interview with director and educator extraordinaire Anne Bogart on her recent collaboration with the Martha Graham Dance Company.  Bogart, SITI Company, along with playwright Charles Mee, collaborated with the the Graham Center to reinvent Martha Graham's American Document using filmed documentation, written descriptions and Graham's handwritten notes.

In the interview, she talks about the experience of pairing actors with dancers, as well as re-imagining a dance piece from Graham's dance canon:

On a basic level, the actors had to learn how to dance and dancers had to learn how to act. It was traumatic. I’m a huge, huge fan of Martha Graham, how she thought about performance. I feel everything she did with the body was what leads to the actor speaking — speaking is the event. I ran up more against my preconceptions, though, than they did. The dancers would get very emotional — they said, “We’re never allowed to speak! We have to speak!” And the actors needed to dance. No matter what happens in performance, this has already been a successful collaboration. What the theater does is show you a society functioning — these two companies onstage functioning beautifully. So, for me, what makes theater theater is the question.
Read the full article on the Clyde Fitch ReportAmerican Document is currently running at the Joyce in New York from June 8-13th.  Tickets and show information here.

Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow

Tags: Anne Bogart, Martha Graham, American Document, interdisciplinary, dance, theater

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