Music: William Schuman.
Choreography: Martha Graham.
Decors: Isamu Noguchi.
Costumes: Martha Graham, Isamu Noguchi.
Lighting: Jean Rosenthal.
Premiere: on May 3, 1947, at Cambridge High School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Dancers at the premiere: Martha Graham (Jocasta), Erick Hawkins (Oedipus), Mark Ryder (Tiresias the Seer),
and Pearl Lang, Yuriko, Ethel Winter, Helem Mc Gee, Natanya
Neumann and Joan Skinner (Daughters of the Night- Chorus).
Birds in my ballets are symbols of evil- they are so beautiful and
so ominous. They are the chorus in Night Journey-
no other animal can haunt you like a bird. You have moments
you wish you couldn't remember but you do remember and you are
a night journey. As your memory makes you relive your life
when you are old, not when you are young, there are things you wish you had not done, but did.
Night Journey, my 1947 ballet, is a dance between Jocasta and Oedipus, mother and son. It is a highly erotic dance. I have never believed in the necessity of interpreting either music or story in dance. I believe in writing a script of movement or a musician writing a script of music.
When I needed a bed for Night Journey I asked Isamu Noguchi to bring me a bed and he did, quite unlike any bed I had ever seen before. It is the representation of a man and a woman- nothing like a bed at all. He brought to me the image of a bed stripped to its bones, to its very spirit.
(Martha Graham, Blood memory).
Thanks to Suzie Snyder for the information about this ballet!