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On April 4, 1936, Martha Graham first performed at the Lobero Theatre.

Martha Graham is considered by many to be the 20th century’s most important dancer and the mother of modern dance.

TIME magazine named Martha Graham “Dancer of the Century,” and People magazine named her among the female “Icons of the Century.” As a choreographer, she was as prolific as she was complex, creating 181 ballets and a dance technique that has been compared to ballet in its scope and magnitude. Her approach to dance and theater revolutionized the art form and her innovative physical vocabulary has irrevocably influenced dance worldwide.

The Graham family moved to Santa Barbara, California when Martha was fourteen years old. She considered Santa Barbara her second home (after New York) and the Lobero could arguably be called her home theater – she appeared on the Lobero stage 8 times* between 1936 and 1966.

Her style, the Graham technique, reshaped American dance and is still taught worldwide.  Graham danced and taught for over seventy years. She was the first dancer to perform at the White House, travel abroad as a cultural ambassador, and receive the highest civilian award of the US: the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction.

*(1936, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1950, 1952 (speech), 1956, and 1966 in a Lobero production held at the Granada)


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