In Residence:
September 25, 2019 - October 25, 2019
United States

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|, 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.

In the movie Dog Day Afternoon, Leon is the boyfriend of Sonny, who is played by Al Pacino.  The problem with this movie is that the whole thing revolves around Sonny’s bank robbery and not the motive— he’s doing it to get his boyfriend Leon a sex change. In the movie, Leon is put in a mental institution.
WEDNESDAY dismantles the ostensible plot of Dog Day Afternoon by reminding us of the real tragedy of the story: that Leon was forced to go to a mental institution because she was trans. I want to tell Leon’s story. I want to recreate a vision of an ideal fantasy world. How can I use magic, song, dance and a bank robbery to talk about love, sex, pain, and confusion? WEDNESDAY reimagines the film “Dog Day Afternoon” as a queer fantasia. Wednesday, a utopia for the untold stories of queer people, is a cabaret club where film noir meets psychological thriller meets pop soap opera.