HARP

(HERE Artist Residency Program)

The McCarthy Era Raja Feather Kelly | the feath3r theory

Show Description

Cosplay and Witches; Witches and Drag; Drag and Politics; Politics and the undeniable anxiety of the influence of Popular Culture. The McCarthy Era takes an unabashed approach of appropriation to celebrate, criticize, and comprehend the years between 1949 and 1952: The McCarthy Era. Ann Bogart purports, that the theatre community in the United States was stuck by a cataclysmic event: the McCarthy era. This political attack forced artists to radically alter or adjust their lives and values. Some fled the country never to return, some were blacklisted and forced to stop working, and others simply changed, recanted, disengaged and shut up. Today we barely remember the McCarthy era and most of us are not aware of the serious consequences of that forgotten catalyst.

Known best for their ‘fusion of dance and theater to shift seamlessly from absurd to cheeky to the unexpectedly and piercingly sincere’ (New York Times), Raja Feather Kelly | the feath3r theory synthesizes dance, visual media, fashion, drag, standup, minstrelsy, and narrative theater into virtuosic, expansive, radical and surreal large scale pop-culture phenomena in which artists and audience alike experience their shared humanity. 

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Artist Bio

Raja was born in Fort Hood, Texas, and is the first and only choreographer to dedicate the entirety of his company’s work to Andy Warhol and the development of popular culture over the last thirty years. Raja Feather Kelly’s Choreography includes Another Fucking Warhol Production (The Kitchen), Andy Warhol's Bleu Movie (BAM Fisher), Andy Warhol’s TROPICO (Danspace Project), Andy Warhol’s DRELLA, I Love You Faye Driscoll (The invisible Dog), and Andy Warhol’s 15: Color Me, Warhol; (Dixon Place). Off-Broadway credits include choreography for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ EVERYBODY directed by Lila Neugebauer (Signature Theater), Susan-Lori Parks’ The Death of The Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz (Signature Theater, Nominated for 2017 Lucielle Lortel Award), Funnyhouse of a Negro; written by Adrienne Kennedy directed by Lila Neugebauer (Signature Theater, Nominated for 2017 Lucielle Lortel Award), Daaimah Mubashshir ’s EVERYDAY AFROPLAY(JACK); Richard Allen and Taran Gray’s FREEDOM RIDERS: THE CIVIL RIGHTS MUSICAL (Acorn Theatre) Directed by Whitney White and Electric Lucifer by Jim Findlay

Honors include a 2018-19 Carthorse Fellowship at the Buran Theatre, a 2017 Princess Grace Award for a Fellowship in Choreography, a 2017 Bessie Schoenberg Fellow at the Yard on Martha's Vineyard, the 2016 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography, a 2016 NYFA Choreography Fellow, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, a 2016 Dancemapolitan Commissioned Choreographer, a 2015 Dixon Place Dance Artist in Residence, a LMCC Workspace Residency Recipient. He has been the Guest ChoreographerBates Dace Festival, Princeton University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Florida, University of Utah, and Middlebury College; the Harkness Choreographer in Residence at Hunter College; a 2009 Dance Web Scholar; Has received 2 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants. He received his BA in both Dance (with honors, concentration in Choreography and Performance) and English (with honors, concentration in Poetry) from Connecticut College.

the feath3r theory
the feath3r theory (TF3T) is a New York City based dance-theater-media company that produces the work of Artistic Director and Choreographer Raja Feather Kelly. TF3T was founded in 2009. The number 3 in TF3T speaks to the equal importance of dance-theatre-media in the work. As a collaboration of dancers, actors, filmmakers, musicians, photographers, and designers, TF3T explores pop-culture and current cultural phenomena, building original performances that skillfully combine, deconstruct, and reimagine elements of dance, visual media, fashion, drag, standup, minstrelsy, and narrative theater.
The main pillar of philosophy that gives impetus for TF3T is the statement “It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.” - Andy Warhol Current Members include: Rachel Pritzlaff, Ami Gernux, Sara Gurevich, Collin Ranf, Benjamin Wolk, Laura Snow, Tuce Yasak, Kate Enman, and Aaron Moses Robin. 

Artist Statement

All of my training and background—Speech and Debate, Musical Theatre, social dance styles of the 90’s, my academic study of Modern Dance and English—have prepared me for the uniquely Warholian way that I rehumanize our over-mediated experience of reality."

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