The American Dance Festival Presents DENDY/DONOVAN PROJECTS Latest Work
The American Dance Festival (ADF) presents Obie, "Bessie," and Alpert award-winning choreographer Mark Dendy and director/designer Stephen Donovan's latest work Elvis Everywhere at New York Live Arts on May 10-12 at 7:30pm. 2018 marks Dendy's 35th year as an innovative choreographer on the downtown scene in New York City.
"I have been supporting Mark Dendy's work since the moment I saw my first piece of his in the early 1990s," said ADF Executive Director Jodee Nimerichter. "He creates thrilling works that are smart, thought provoking, and memorable. Mark and his long-time collaborator Stephen Donovan's latest masterpiece Elvis Everywhere is a multimedia tour de force you don't want to miss!"
"America is Elvis Presley-the most beautiful, talented, rebellious nation in the history of the earth. And now, you're in your Vegas years. You have squeezed yourself into a white jumpsuit, you're wheezing your way through 'Love Me Tender' and you might be about to pass away bloated on the toilet. But you're still the king." - John Oliver
Praised for its "speed, force, brilliance and surprise" (The Washington Post), Mark Dendy's work is known for its searing social and political commentary, intense physicality, and wicked sense of humor. Elvis Everywhere explores Elvis as a war propaganda machine and cultural appropriator. The piece celebrates the music of Elvis Presley and utilizes contemporary movement and deconstructed show dance, idiosyncratic gesture, as well as video and text to explore the cult of celebrity that has been a fever chart for the decline of our culture in the 21st century, drawing parallels between the political and social climate of the 60s and 70s and today contrasting the Nixon and Trump eras. The work is set to music by Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Big Mama Thornton, and Arthur Crudup and to interviews with Presley, Donald Rumsfeld, personal interviews Dendy had with fans, and original sound by Stephen Donovan.
Elvis Everywhere was inspired by an interview with Donald Rumsfeld on his encounter with Elvis Presley in Las Vegas. Elvis Everywhere utilizes the arc of Elvis's life as a metaphor for the United States and its current turbulent political atmosphere. The piece is part love letter, part political commentary, and brings both to bear in this examination of the cult of Elvis.
The one-hour piece is performed by 7 dancers including Dendy and was commissioned and premiered at ADF in July 2017. Elvis Everywhere was also created, in part, during a Creative Development Residency at Jacob's Pillow in 2017 and was performed for 6 sellout performances in August 2017.
Performed by Chris Bell, London Brison, Mark Dendy, Colette Krogol, Frankie Lee III, Matt Reeves, and Mei Yamanaka, choreography by Mark Dendy, conceived and directed by Mark Dendy and Stephen Donovan, lighting design by David Ferri, and video, set, sound, and costume design by Stephen Donovan.
Elvis Everywhere is commissioned by ADF with support from Doris Duke/SHS Foundations Award for New Dance.
Elvis Everywhere was created in part during a Creative Development Residency at Jacob's Pillow Dance.
Seed work for Elvis Everywhere was created at DANCEworks, Santa Barbara, CA.
Elvis Everywhere is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Mark Dendy is celebrating his 35th year of choreographing and has worked in a variety of dance genres, ranging from experimental dance and edgy East Village drag to high-end Broadway productions, prominent ballet companies and opera, to large-scale site-specific works. His dance and theater work has been presented at PS 122, the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, Jacob's Pillow, Lincoln Center, Central Park SummerStage, and Dance Theater Workshop. His commercial theater credits include choreography for Taboo (Broadway), The Wild Party, The Miracle Brothers, and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well... (Off-Broadway), The Magic Flute (The Metropolitan Opera), Orpheus (NYC Opera), and Rappaccini's Daughter (Gotham Chamber Opera). He has received several awards and honors, most notably a "Bessie" award, an Obie Award, the National Society of Arts and Letters Sustained Achievement Award, the Herb Alpert Award, and the Joe A. Calloway Award, as well as numerous grants.
Stephen Donovan is the Co-Artistic Director of dendy/donovan projects. Dendy and Donovan have been collaborating since working on the Broadway musical Taboo. His works with Dendy include Ritual Cyclical (Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 2013), Dystopian Distractions! (Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, 2014), Labyrinth (Abrons Arts Center, 2014), NEWYORKnewyork@Astor Place (Joe's Pub, 2015), and Whistleblower (Dixon Place, 2015). Stephen has worked extensively as a performer, designer, and director. He studied Contemporary Art at Nottingham Trent University and acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Other credits include performer in Comedians (La MaMa E.T.C.), costume designer for Desperate Writers (Union Square Theatre), and writer for Andru's Head (NY Fringe), Experiments & Disorder (Dixon Place), and Girl/Talk (Mind the Gap Theatre). dendydonovanprojects.com
Masterclass with Colette Krogol on Saturday, May 12 at 12:00-2:00pm at New York Live Arts. Set to the soundtrack of Elvis' greatest hits, join Colette, principal dendy/donovan projects company member since 2008, in this special masterclass. Choreographer Mark Dendy will join the class for company repertory from the work Elvis Everywhere. Colette will teach two short sections of repertory and Mark will give notes. Experience what dendy/donovan project's rehearsal process is like. The class is $15. Advance registration required at http://bit.ly/2ENXKIK.
Tickets to performances can be purchased online at https://newyorklivearts.org/event/elvis-everywhere/ or by calling 212-924-0077.