Sketches From Chronicle

Choreography : Martha Graham
Music : Wallingford Riegger

Created on December 20, 1936 for the Guild Theatre, New York
Premiered by the CCN - Ballet de Lorraine April 28, 2011 at the Opéra national de Lorraine

Choreography and costumes : Martha Graham
Set by : Denise Valle & Virginie Mecene
Music : Wallingford Riegger - Spectre-1914 and Prelude to Action, arranged and orchestrated by Stanley Sussman
New orchestration of Steps in the street : Justin Dello Joio
Original Lighting : Jean Rosenthal
New lighting for  Steps in the street : David Finley
New lighting for  Spectre-1914 and Prelude to Action : Steven L. Shelley
Rehearsal director : Isabelle Bourgeais


A suite in three sections, inspired by the Great Depression in the USA, Sketches from Chronicle consists of an opening solo, Spectre -1914, using revolutionary movements and images from the war in Spain; a section for twelve female dancers, Steps in the Street; then the final section, Prelude to Action.

This is one of Martha Graham’s most beautiful and elegant dances, powerfully evoking the alienation of the individual at the center of a group.


Martha Graham is one of the most iconic artistic figures of the 20th century. She was named “Dancer of the Century” by Time Magazine and has been compared to other major creators such as Picasso, Einstein, Stravinsky and Freud. She created 181 dances as well as a technique which revolutionised dance for most of the 20th century.
Her pieces were inspired by many sources, from the American West to Greek mythology. Her dancers went on to become major choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp and she was awarded many awards and prizes throughout her career.
The extraordinary heritage of Martha Graham continues with the Martha Graham Dance Company and School, and students from around the world continue to learn her technique and present her masterpieces.