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Flash Forum, 6-6: Amazing Disgrace
The Graham Firings

A Letter from Alan Gordon
Executive Director, American Guild of Musical Artists

(Editor's Note: On May 19 the board of the Martha Graham Dance Company fired Terese Capucilli and Christine Dakin as artistic directors, as confirmed by an eloquent and classy statement from Capucilli and Dakin first published Thursday in the Dance Insider. The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) is the principal union for dancers in the U.S., including the artists of the Graham company. )

While I know Terese only slightly, Christine and I know each other well. Our relationship began when the company first got into trouble, and AGMA offered Christine all of its facilities, staff, PR consultants and attorneys to help her with her efforts to keep the dancers together, mount a world-wide effort to defend Martha's legacy, and resuscitate the company. After that work proved successful, we worked closely with her to assure that the collective bargaining agreement remained viable in terms of the company's fiscal situation. The dancers' willingness to accommodate the company's needs was due in no small part to their trust in Christine. While the management may bask in the glory of the company's revival, there is no question but that it would not exist today but for the work done by Christine and Terese. For the company to treat them now in such a shabby, inexcusable manner is a disgrace.

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