FKA twigs Dances Martha Graham: ‘This Is Art in Its Truest Form’

The rebellious spirit of Martha Graham has found a rebellious soul mate in another creative powerhouse. A classically trained dancer, she’s known in the world as an acclaimed recording artist. She moves like water. Her pole dancing is pretty astounding, too. This is FKA twigs.

On Thursday, she will make her debut as a dancer with the Graham company in the solo “Satyric Festival Song” (1932). “To me, this is, honestly, like winning a Grammy,” she said. “I feel like I’m winning a Grammy.”

At the company’s gala performance, FKA twigs will slip into her costume, a bold and graphic striped dress designed by Graham. She will pop into the air as if the floor were on fire. She will twist and bend her body into jagged edges. And she will tease the audience with tilts of the head and dancing, expressive eyes. This is a solo inspired by rituals that Graham observed in the pueblos of the American Southwest, specifically, the kachina figures that served as comic relief at religious ceremonies. Graham was also poking fun at her serious, dramatic self.

“To me, this is, honestly, like winning a Grammy,” FKA twigs said of dancing with the Graham company. Credit…Caroline Tompkins for The New York Times

An artist of vast imagination whose music defies genre, FKA twigs is adventurous in all of her pursuits. Her shimmering, fluent physicality, displayed over the years in videos and performances, is equally fearless and lissome. “My values of success and achievement are maybe slightly different to other people’s,” FKA twigs said in an interview from London. Many of her colleagues will be at Coachella over the next two weeks, “which is obviously such an honor,” she said. “But I’ve spent the whole of my life in the dance studio. I studied Martha Graham’s technique at dance school. I took the class many times when I was a younger dancer.”

The Graham company, though, didn’t know she had studied the technique. So how did this solo happen? Through that unofficial dance network known as Instagram.

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