Martha Graham Dance Company Principal Dancer Will Lead Master Classes For SJA Dance Students

November 8, 2023

Martha Graham Dance Company Principal Dancer Will Lead Master Classes For SJA Dance Students

Former Martha Graham Dance Company (MGDC) principal dancer, Blakeley White-McGuire, will lead master classes for St. Johnsbury Academy Modern Dance and Ballet students November 6-10.


White-McGuire is a New York-based dancer/choreographer/writer/educator and interdisciplinary artist.   She is a Principal Guest Artist and former Principal Dancer of Martha Graham Dance Company. described by Gia Kourlas of the New York Times as having a “powerful technique and dramatic instinct with an appealing modern spunk”. White-McGuire has danced all the iconic roles in the Martha Graham repertory:  Clytemnestra, Jocasta (NIGHT JOURNEY), Medea (CAVE OF THE HEART), Joan-of-Arc SERAPHIC DIALOGUE), Emily Bronte (DEATHS and ENTRANCES), etc. for which she has received widespread critical acclaim.


White-McGuire joined the Graham Company in 2002.  After fifteen years of performing, White-McGuire left the Graham Company in 2017 to pursue other projects. Since then, she has staged Diversion of Angels on Paul Taylor Dance Company[31] and Sketches from Chronicle on Royal Ballet of Flanders, performed in Jacqulyn Buglisi‘s revival of Bare To the Wall, performed in Marta Renzi’s feature film Her Magnum Opus, presented her research on Imperial Gesture with former Graham dancer Kim Jones at The Arts In Society Conference, and joined the faculty of Hunter College in NYC and the Laguardia High School of Performing Arts as the master teacher of Graham Technique.


As a choreographer, White-McGuire has had her work presented by Jacob’s Pillow,[37] The Museum of Arts and Design, The Graham Company, Downtown Dance Festival, Dancers Responding to Aids, Cape Dance Festival, New Ballet Ensemble, University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge Ballet Theater, The Watermill Center, Roxbury Arts Group, RAW, and The Moving Beauty Series at Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center. 


Her current creative process creates contemporary dance theater and site-specific performative works through movement research including with Movement Migration and C.A.V.E.S. Project Entre El Cuerpo y La Naturaleza, an international collaborative interrogating the relationship between art, nature, and the human body.


Her productions have been commissioned by several transformative presenters including the Dancing Human Rights Festival, Oxford, UK; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA Jacob’s Pillow’s INSIDE/ OUT, USA; American Dance Festival, USA; Movement Migration (International) and Ballet Metropolitano, Colombia, SA.


McGuire holds her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and has served on the faculties of The Ailey School, The New SchoolThe Actors Studio, New Ballet Ensemble & School, and since 2001 has been a faculty member of The Graham School.


Blakeley White-McGuire is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Contemporary Dance at Hunter College and The Ailey/Fordham Professional Division and is the author of several published works including her first book, “The Martha Graham Dance Company: House of the Pelvic Truth.”


“The Academy Dance program is committed to providing top-tier professional training to its students,” teacher Marianne Handy Hraibi said. “We want our students to be knowledgeably disciplined in dance, and we also want them to be knowledgeable and astute audience members.  Both goals come from exposure to expert training, especially exposure to the nuances that make good dancing great.  It is not enough to provide professional training. Our students need to be exposed to the fine subtleties that distinguish great performing artists.”


Guest artists in dance are made possible through the generous donations to the Ned and Sarah Handy Fund for Dance at St. Johnsbury Academy.


Additional Information:


Blakeley White-McGuire


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