Texts: Emily Dickinson
Dancers: Martha Graham and her Company
Music: Hunter Johnson
Set: Arch Lauterer
Costumes: Edythe Gilfond
Premiere: 11 August 1940, Bennington College Theatre, a new quite different version was done in 1941. This second version has become the version the Company has reconstructed in subsequent decades. In 1988 the Company has reconstructed it for the last time.
Video: here the reconstruction of the opening solo of The One Who Dances interpreted by Fang-Yi Sheu.
Letter to the World is inspired by Emily Dickinson's poetry and personality. Two are the protagonists, The One Who Dances and The One Who Speaks, the first dances the most beautiful phrases in the piece, while the second utters lines from the poet's poems and letters. The other characters represent aspects of her personality and icnlude The Ancestress, who embodies Puritanism and death, The Lover, who is an actual lover and her connection to the world and March who interprets her lively wit. The main narrative thread presents the dancing protagonist engaging a fight with The Ancestress to affirm her creative independence.