Performed to music by Zoltán Kodály, Lamentation premiered on January 8, 1930, at New York's Maxine Elliott's Theatre. The solo work was performed by Martha Graham in a concert given by the Dance Repertory Theatre. Graham joined dancer/choreographers Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and [Helen] Tamiris to form the Dance Repertory Theatre. The goal was "to give annually a season of continuous dance programs which will be representative of the art of dance in American and will give native artists an outlet for their creative work." Dance Magazine (April 1930) noted that the work was "a statuesque composition, which relied for much of its eloquence upon an ingenious and simple costume arrangement." The November 20, 1932, Record (Philadelphia) reviewed a later performance and noted, "When Miss Graham in her Lamentation depicts the dumb agony of grief she does not droop like a flower or attitudinize like Patience on a monument, she is grief from the first stricken bewildered gropings of her head and torso to the last moment when she averts her covered head with a finality that is pitiful and terrible."