◂ Back to the Interviews

Janet Eilber

On Keeping Dance Modern, Values, Technology, Martha Graham’s Life and Legacy, and More

Watch the Full Interview
Watch a Clip
On Martha's life lessons and "the arts are the ethics"
On the Culture of the Martha Graham Dance Company
On Investing in Stakeholders and Being Audience-Centric
On Society's Greatest Ethical Challenges
On Artists' Ethical Responsibility and Refusing Hitler's Invitation
On Choice and Ethics and Martha as the Leader in the Modernist Movement
Listen to the Full Interview
More Formats
Download File iTunes RSS Feed
Interview Description

The Martha Graham Dance Company was founded in 1926 by Martha Graham, widely recognized as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and creator of an iconic approach to dance based on the human body’s capacity for expression. The company continues to lead the modern dance world today, bringing together Martha’s classic choreography and costumes with today’s choreographers, technology, and audience expectations.

Janet Eilber has been Martha Graham Dance Company’s Artistic Director since 2005. She was Martha’s protégé and principal dancer with the company. She has danced almost every one of Martha’s classic works and several works choreographed by Graham specifically for her. She has also had a longstanding film and stage career, directed by greats such as Agnes de Mille and Bob Fosse, performed at the White House, and received four Lester Horton Dance Awards by the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles.

Janet reflects on how Martha’s legacy fuels a forward-looking approach to modern dance: from a spotlight on the legend to a refocus on the modern, technologically savvy audience. Ethics is embedded in every aspect of the history, choreography, and audience-focused values. Ethics is indeed a part of the Martha Graham movement language. Janet also shares stories of Martha’s moral foundation, for example refusing to perform in Nazi Germany, and her use of dance to challenge those with whom she worked to be their best ethical selves.

Welcome to my conversation with Ms. Janet Eilber.

Our gratitude to the Martha Graham Dance Company for granting permission to use their images in this interview.