MSP 94: Christine Dakin

By January 16, 2020January 17th, 2020Podcast



Christine Dakin


Release Date: 1.16.20


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Dancer – teacher – director, a foremost exponent of the Martha Graham repertory andtechnique, Dakin is known for her performance of Ms. Graham’s roles and for those created for her by Martha Graham and artists such as Robert Wilson, Twyla Tharp and Martha Clarke.  She has performed recent work created for by Brice Mousset, Alejandro Chávez and Jaime Blanc in festivals in Mexico and the US and has been guest artist with the American Dance Guild, the Sokolow Theater/Dance Ensemble and since 2015 has produced and performed in programs at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater with guest musicians and choreographers.

Performing in the principal theaters of the world, partnered by renowned artists such as Rudolf Nureyev and filmed in the repertory, Dakin was chosen by Graham for the company in 1976.  She became Associate Artistic Director in 1997 and was named Artistic Director with Terese Capucilli in 2002.  Leading the company to its rebirth, they are credited with bringing the artistic excellence and repertory of the Company to a level not seen since Martha Graham’s death and were named Artistic Directors Laureate.

She was awarded the Evelyn Green Fellowship at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, developing her film project La Voz del Cuerpo(2007/08), was Visiting Lecturer for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2006, 2009), offering the University’s first credit courses in dance, and was the “Learning from Performers” guest artist (2001).  Educated at the University of Michigan, Ms. Dakin is the recipient of the University of Michigan Alumni Award (2001), an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Shenandoah University (2001), and an Honorary Doctorate from the Universidad de Colima, Mexico (2007).

Dakin has directed and written La Voz del Cuerpo / The Body Speaks; the personal poetics of a Martha Graham dancer. The film was created in collaboration with dancers and musicians from the United States and Mexico,  exploring the work and creative life of a dancer and was official selection in 2013 of New York City Independent Film Festival and Golden Door International Film Festivals, NewFilmmakers New York 2014, and has been shown at the 92Y in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca, Mexico and for International Day of Dance UNESCO in Barcelona.  Her filming, and commentary on fundamental sequences of Martha Graham’s technique, Terpsikon, Vol. 1, is available by subscription on Vimeo on Demand.

On the faculty of The Juilliard School, (1993 – 2003) , she is currently faculty at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and the Ailey School in New York, and is guest teacher for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She is known internationally as a teacher and guest artist from Russia to Latin America; since 1981 maintaining a special relationship with the Mexican dance community as teacher, choreographer, performer: guest performer with Compañía Ciudad Interior, Invernadero Danza Oaxaca , ‘choreographic guide’ at Encuentro de Creación Coreográfica EnTiempoReal2017,  teacher, choreographer with the Ballet Nacional de México, Universidad de Colima’s Ballet Folklórico (Dir. Rafael Zamarripa) and contemporary company Univerdanza,Universidad de Veracruz, Xalapa, Centro de las Artes in Sn. Luis Potosí and Querétaro, and Compañía de Danza Contemporánea de Yucatán. Her choreography in collaboration with Mexican composers and scenic designers premiered in Mexico City and the International Festival Sn. Luis Potosí.

Dakin was honored by the dance community with a “Bessie” New York Dance and Performance Award (2003) and the Dance Magazine Award (1994), and the 14thannual Labat Loano Grand Prix “Giuliana Penzi” 2015 Career Award. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar (1999), recipient of a grant from CEC ArtsLink for performance in Vladivostok, Russia (1996), the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (2000) and two Rockefeller-US-Mexico Fund for Culture grants (1998, 2001) for choreography, research and teaching.

On film Ms. Dakin represented contemporary dance in the WNET production “Young Artists in Performance at the White House”, was a featured performer in the 1993 French documentary Les Printemps du Sacre.  In Japan (NHK) she was filmed in “Night Journey” and “Rite of Spring” for release on Bravo, and at the Paris Opera in “Herodiade”.  Other film credits include “Clytemnestra” and “Acts of Light” (WNET).

She is collaborating with Francesca Schironi, classics scholar, on a book/website project: “Dancing Myth”,  studying Martha Graham’s ‘Greek’ works.   She is dancer and founding member of Buglisi Dance Theatre (1993), of danz.fest(Italy 2008), guest teacher for “Tecniche Di Danza Moderna”(Italy 2017) and is honored to serve as a Creative Advisor for Robert Battle’s New Directions Choreographic Lab ( 2015/16 and 2016/17).  At the Radcliffe Institute with colleague, physicist Jane Wang, Dakin has investigated with artists and scientists: “Locomotion/Emotion; perception of complex movement and the dynamics of beauty” (2009); and “The Dynamics of Beauty: Human Perception of Complex Movement” (2011)


Podcast produced by: The Moving Architects
Interviewer: Erin Carlisle Norton
Theme Music: Adam Crawley whose music can be found at

This podcast episode is in partnership with JAM.  JAM is the home of dance entrepreneur Jessica Marino, providing artist management services and industry shopping., networking for dance and bringing ideas to the spotlight.