Martha Graham Dance Company Launches
On the Couch: An Inner Monologue Competition
Online video competitors interpret the psychological meaning of dance 
Winning video will premiere during Martha Graham Dance Company's
New York season in March 2012 
On the Couch: An Inner Monologue Competition
New York, NY - November 22nd, 2011 --- The Martha Graham Dance Company announces the launch of its online video contest, On the Couch: An Inner Monologue Competition.  As part of its "Inner Landscape" season theme, the Graham Company is calling for contestants to create a monologue for a Graham solo dance that suggests a patient in a therapy session.  
The contest is a light-hearted component of the Martha Graham Dance Company's Inner Landscape season, which focuses on Graham's revolutionary innovations in psychological dance.  Graham famously said, "I wanted to find a way to reveal the inner landscape - to chart a graph of the heart." The company will present a range of performances, special events and educational activities all as part of the Inner Landscape theme.  Highlights include premieres of new works for the Graham Company by eminent choreographers Lar Lubovitch and Yvonne Rainer. 
Participants can enter the On the Couch Competition by downloading a video of a three-minute Graham dance.  The dancer begins and ends the solo on a couch and dances through a series of emotions.  The contest challenges competitors to add a voice-over or text to the solo that reveals the character's thoughts beginning with the sentence, "Doctor, it's happening again." Graham's legendary quote, "Movement never lies," must also be used somewhere within the monologue. 
A panel of experts in psychology, dance, music, creative writing and media will select winners based on creativity and overall enhancement of the original video clips.  Judges will include Mark St. Germain, award winning playwright and author of Freud's Last Session and Julie Jaffe Nagel, psychoanalyst, musician and chair of Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Music for the American Psychoanalytic Association among others. 
The winner will receive $500, and the winning video will be premiered during Martha Graham Dance Company's New York Season performances in March 2012.  The second and third place winners will receive $300 and $200 respectively.   All three winners will be promoted widely -- particularly in connection with performances of the Inner Landscape theme. 
"The Graham Company is leading the world of modern dance in experimenting with innovative ways to connect with new audiences," says Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Center and creator of On The Couch.  "This project is a follow up to our 2009 video contest, the Clytemnestra ReMash Challenge - which was a first for the field and had international impact.  Releasing historic masterpieces to be reinterpreted using the latest in technology leverages our legacy of innovation by adding new points of access for audiences worldwide."  
"Dancers in the Graham Company are constantly inventing the interior life of the characters they dance," said Tadej Brdnik, Martha Graham Dance Company Principal Dancer, coordinator of both video contests, and performer of the On the Couch solo.  "Through On the Couch, we are opening this process to artists of all kinds -- inviting them to create new psychological interpretations of this short Graham solo.  In a way, it's our rehearsal process in reverse.  It's also an engaging way to showcase Graham's rich influence even on today's global culture." 
Details of On the Couch: An Inner Monologue Competition including instructions and rules of the competition can be found at http://onthecouchcompetition.tumblr.com. The competition opens on November 22, 2011 and the submission deadline is 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time on February 1, 2012. Winners will be announced on March 12, 2012. 
The Martha Graham Center's Inner Landscape season is a partner of Brain Awareness Week.
The Martha Graham Dance Company:
The Martha Graham Dance Company has been a leader in the development of contemporary dance since its founding in 1926.  Today, the company is embracing a new programming vision that showcases masterpieces by Graham, her contemporaries and their successors alongside newly commissioned works by contemporary artists.  With programs that unite the work of choreographers across time within a rich historical and thematic narrative, the company is actively working to create new platforms for contemporary dance and multiple points of access for audiences.  
Since its inception, the Martha Graham Dance Company has received international acclaim from audiences in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The Company has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House, Covent Garden, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as at the base of the Great Pyramids of Egypt and in the ancient Herod Atticus Theatre on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. In addition, the Company has also produced several award-winning films broadcast on PBS and around the world.  More information can be found at www.marthagraham.org.

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