Letter to the World
Music: Hunter Johnson.
Costumes: Edythe Gilfond.
Choreography: Martha Graham .
Set and lighting: Arch Lauterer.
Premiere: August 11, 1940 at Bennington College Theater
recitation of poems of Emily Dickinson.
Dancers at the premiere:
Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins, Merce Cunningham,
It was Jean [Erdman] who first spoke the poetry
of Emily Dickinson in my ballet Letter to the World.
I conceived of two Emilys, dressed alike in white, who
opened the ballet, each one entering from the opposite side of the
stage. Troughout the dance the Emily who spoke would witness
the other Emily, myself, who danced the inner landscapes of the poetry.
The first lines as we faced each other were, "I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us..."
(Martha Graham, Letter to the World)
Thanks to Amy Reusch and "Thespis" for the information about this ballet!