The Martha Graham Dance Company, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Meredith Monk's The House will be among 12 dance events to be presented under joint Kennedy Center-washington Performing Arts Society auspices during the 1980-81 season, in a new series to be called "Dance America."

In a new departure for Kennedy Center, dance troupes, both modern and ballet, will perform in all three main proscenium theaters of the Center, including, for the first time, the Eisenhower Theater, as well as the Opera House and the Terrace Theater.

Eight of the troupes will be making their Kennedy Center debuts. The companies will be: in the Terrace Theater, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company Sept. 26-28; Bill T. Jones, Sept.30, and with Arnie Zane, Oct. 1; James Cunningham's Acme Company Oct.2-5; Meredith Monk/The House, March 24-26: Laura Dean Dancers & Musicians, March 27-29; Dance Exchange, May 5-6; Bella Lewitzky Dance Company, May 8-10.

In the Opera House (also to be offered on the Kennedy Center's ballet subscription series), Dance Theatre of Harlem, Feb. 10-15; Eliot Feld Ballet, Feb. 17-22; Martha Graham Dance Company, Feb. 24-March 1; and in the Eisenhower Theater, Pilobolus Nov. 11-13; and the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Nov. 14-16.

The public will be offered a choice of six different series, with prices ranging from $71 for five events to $38 for four events.

"Dance America" is an outgrowth of the modern dance series WPAS has presented since 1969, mainly at Lisner Auditorium. It's intended by both sponsors that the new series be a continuing, "permanent" presentation at the Center in future seasons.

The presence of a Washington troupe -- the Dance Exchange -- in the first edition of "Dance America" also reflects a stated desire to include continuing local representation.