Martha Graham, known as the creator of contemporary dance, was born in 1894 in Allegheny City (later a part of Pittsburgh).
Her unique style sought to “reveal the inner man” while stripping away the decorative movements of ballet, and she was the first to employ Asian and African-American dancers. Martha danced throughout her 60s and departed the stage in 1970, falling into depression, drinking, and hospitalization.
But she revived in 1972 to reorganize the Martha Graham Dance Company and create 10 new ballets. She continued to teach and choreograph until her death at 96, with 181 pieces to her name.
– Eve Lederman, The 100 Companies