Appalachian Spring was composed by Aaron Copland at the request of Martha Graham, a pioneer in the modern dance movement, and the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation. Copland was already well recognized for his "American" sound, but it was Appalachian Spring that won him the 1945 Pulitzer Prize. The ballet premiered in October of 1944 at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C..
Martha Graham’s original choreography has become iconic and Amiti admits that the prospect of tackling this piece gave her pause. While the music was originally created to help tell the story in Graham’s choreography, Amiti says that she “chose to mold the choreography to Copland’s music without the narrative for which it was originally composed” (Amiti Perry, About the Choreography). Amiti’s choreography was inspired by nature and the human body, a response to the music rather than the tale that inspired it’s creation. Amiti employed some familiar steps as tribute to Graham, but inserted her own “artistic voice” (Amiti Perry, About the Choreography).