Designer and sculptor Isamu Noguchi once defined the essence of sculpture as “the perception of space, the continuum of our existence”. For Noguchi, everything was sculpture, and in Martha Graham – perhaps America’s most important modern dancer and choreographer – he found the perfect collaborator. Their partnership as choreographer and set/prop/costume designer spanned three decades, and together they produced 18 original dances, including Graham masterpieces like Appalachian Spring (1944), Night Journey (1947) and Phaedra (1962). Graham’s school of movement is violent, beautiful and strange, and while inhabiting Noguchi’s quiet, suggestive sets, she used it to explore a mythological landscape: Greek, Biblical, American. If Graham’s dances helped reimagine a modern body in space, then it was Noguchi who concerned himself with the stage itself. Spare, abstract and essential, Noguchi’s sets could be as simple as a line of rope for Frontier (1935), or as foreboding and complex as the cage-like metal dress he designed for Cave of the Heart (1946). “I felt that I was an extension of Martha and that she was an extension of me,” Noguchi once said. Here are the two artists in their own words.