Raja Feather Kelly breaks complicated text into three-dimensional movement landscapes. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s philosophy and aesthetic as a model for repetition, iconography, and cinematic sensibilities, Kelly amplifies mundane, pedestrian movement into scientific and virtuosic choreography. His work appropriates the structures, themes, and aesthetics found in reality television, celebrity culture, and social media, then deconstructs them into new works which combine dance, theatre, and visual media. He aims to challenge his audience and collaborators to collectively recognize, interrogate, and celebrate their own implication in popular media: how media has trained and molded their desires, relationships, and identities.
Professionally, Raja has performed with Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, David Dorfman Dance, Kyle Abraham|Abraham.in.Motion, Christopher Williams Dance, and zoe | juniper.
Kelly’s choreographic credits include thirteen evening-length works that were created and performed in NYC, Seattle, Utah, and Washington D.C. Off-Broadway credits include choreography for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lila Neugebauer, Susan-Lori Parks, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Jim Findlay. Honors include a 2017 and 2018 Princess Grace Award for Choreography, the 2018 Breakout Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, Dance Magazine’s inaugural Harkness Promise Award, 2016 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography, and the 2016 NYFA Choreography Fellowship.
This residency is supported through the Maria Bacardi Artist Scholarship, established by a generous gift from artist Maria Pessino, in honor of her late grandmother.
the feath3r theory is remaking the film Dog Day Afternoon as a speculative documentary dance theater queer-fantasia where psychological realism meets pop soap opera at a cabaret club called Wednesdays.
In our show, WEDNESDAY, the members of the feath3r theory take on the role of journalists in search of the real and true motivations behind the bank robbery in Dog Day Afternoon. Money for a sex change. At once we are a fast-paced, high-stakes newsroom, but without the primary source material (people or media) to corroborate our investigation, we find ourselves as our only source for reenacting the situations and stories to comprehend our research.
We dismantle Dog Day Afternoon by re-centering the story on a fantasy in which Liz Eden- for whom the character Leon in Dog Day Afternoon is loosely based and the reason why the character Sonny, loosely based on John Wojtowicz, conspires to rob a bank- is the protagonist. The Fantasy: Eden stars in a cabaret act called The Garden of Eden, inspired by Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at our nightclub Wednesdays. This fantasy comes from numerous articles that speculate Eden’s dream of writing a book, owning a discotheque, and performing a cabaret act at a nightclub– which she never got to do, even after receiving what is speculated to be somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000 for her role in inspiring Leon’s storyline in Dog Day Afternoon.
Liz Eden’s story has been stolen, libeled, underrepresented, exploited, unmanaged, and still remains untold. But is it our story to tell? Shining the spotlight on Eden’s story, shines a spotlight on America. Who gets to tell who’s story? What is revealed? What is left out? What and Who is Erased?
Our speculative documentary dance theatre queer-fantasia where psychological realism meets pop soap opera at a cabaret club called Wednesdays is where comedy reveals tragedy in a “Theatrum Mundi” in which music, movement, and speech are inseparable.