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Subject: "Martha Graham Dance Company v Ron Protas" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1480
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Brendan McCarthymoderator

24-03-01, 05:14 PM (GMT)
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"Martha Graham Dance Company v Ron Protas"
 
   The New York website, Dance Insider, has a fascinating court report of the legal action by Ron Protas, to whom Martha Graham willed her choreography, against the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance. If Protas wins, it will mean the almost inevitable loss of the Graham heritage, as dance companies throughout America are determined to have nothing to do with him. Protas did not have a good day in court yesterday, and the judge was openly sceptical about his attempt to assert his 'ownership' of Graham technique. There are also wider issues involved, one of them the question of who owns a dance piece - the choreographer, or the dancers and the company for which it was created. The relevant webpage is:

http://www.danceinsider.com/f2001/f324.html


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Martha Graham Dance Company v Ron Protas Stuart Sweeney 27-03-01 1
     RE: Martha Graham Dance Company v Ron Protas Brendan McCarthymoderator 27-03-01 2

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Stuart Sweeney

27-03-01, 11:04 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Martha Graham Dance Company v Ron Protas"
In response to message #0
 
   Many thanks Brendan for the Dance Insider link, which gives the best coverage of the trial thatI have seen yet. This is a crucial hearing for two reasons. Firstly, the future of the Graham inheritance is probably the key problem currently facing the dance world. No other important dance heritage is threatened in the same way. Although Graham works are seen rarely in this country, it's worth remembering the crucial role that Graham played in the development of contemporary dance in the UK. Much of what we see today can be traced back to the opening of London Contemporay Dance School in the late 1960s with moral support and staffing from the Graham Company and finance from Robin Howard who had fallen in love with Graham's work.

Secondly there are some key legal issues at stake here. An outcome of the trial could be that a choreographer who is a Company employee does not have the rights to the works made for that Company. Whilst I would like to see the influence of Ron Protas diminished, such a legal change would have serious implications for other choreographers.

When disputes such as the Protas/Graham Company there are usually two camps. The extraordinary thing here is that there appears to be unanimity amongst the current and ex-Company dancers, administrators, teachers and scholars that Protas is not acting in the interest of the Graham heritage.


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

27-03-01, 04:13 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Martha Graham Dance Company v Ron Protas"
In response to message #1
 
   http://www.danceinsider.com/f2001/f327_1.html

The latest on the trial from Dance Insider.


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