Performed to music by Wallingford Riegger, Chronicle premiered on December 20, 1936, at New York's Guild Theatre. The work was divided into three major sections: "Dances Before Catastrophe," which included two subsections called Spectre--1914 and Masque; "Dances After Catastrophe," which included two subsections called Steps in the Street and Tragic Holiday--In Memoriam; and "Prelude to Action." Each section occasionally was danced as an independent work. The set was designed by Isamu Noguchi and the original production was danced by Martha Graham and Group. Dance Observer (January 1937) wrote of a later performance, "It is an ambitious undertaking, a composition on a grand scale, making enormous demands on both the soloist and her group…." The critic for the Christian Science Monitor (January 5, 1937) noted, "I found it deeply moving…and only seldom disappointing." He continued, "The technical performance of this work, by both Miss Graham and the group, leaves you gasping."