New Documentary Profiles Martha Hill

Without directors and administrators, dance simply could not thrive. And the new documentary Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter tells the story of one of the greatest behind-the-scenes champions of modern and contemporary dance, Martha Hill. Though she may be best known as the founder of the Bennington School of the Dance (the formative summer program where Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Hanya Holm were on faculty), Miss Hill tells the lesser-known details of her lengthy career. For example, in 1952, she became the founding director of The Juilliard Dance Division, a position she held until 1985. 

 

The documentary from First Run Features is rich with archival footage of such luminaries as Graham, Humphrey, José Limón, Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, George Balanchine and Antony Tudor. Plus, interviews with Robert Battle, Ohad Naharin and others connect Hill's legacy to the current chapter of dance.

 

Miss Hill opens this Friday, January 23, at Quad Cinemas in New York City. But even if you're not in the area, you can check out the trailer here.

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Courtesy Esse

What It Was Like When Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was in the Audience—or Backstage

The 27 years that Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent on the U.S. Supreme Court were 27 years that she spent as one of Washington, D.C.'s most ardent, elegant and erudite supporters of the performing arts. The justice, who died on September 18 of metastatic cancer, was also an avid cultural tourist, traveling to the Santa Fe and Glimmerglass operas nearly every summer, as well as occasionally returning to catch shows in her native New York City.

Ginsburg's opera fandom was well known, but her tastes were wide-ranging. Particularly in the last 10 years of her life, after Ginsburg lost her beloved husband, Marty, it was not unusual for the petite justice and her security detail to be spotted at theaters several nights a week. She saw everything, from classic musicals to serious new plays, plus performances that defied classification, like Martha Clarke's dance drama Chéri, with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, which toured to the Kennedy Center in 2014.

To honor Ginsburg, Dance Magazine asked three dance artists whose performances the justice attended to recall what Ginsburg meant to them.

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