dendy/donovan projects was formed in 2008, between longtime collaborators Mark Dendy and Stephen Donovan, to create a dance-theater multi-media company valuing all forms of design and collaboration with a political sensibility and a searing social satire. Obie, New York Dance & Performance (“Bessie”) and Alpert award-winning choreographer, writer and director Mark Dendy and designer, director and filmmaker Stephen Donovan have been a creative team since 2003 when they worked on the Broadway musical TABOO! Mark as the choreographer and Stephen as Assistant Director.
They have created many original works, namely Andru's Head at NY Fringe (2004), Golden Belt, set in an abandoned tobacco-processing factory in North Carolina ADF (premiere 2009); Ritual Cyclical, an epic site-specific work for 80 dancers at Lincoln Center Out of Doors/ADF (premiere 2013); Dystopian Distractions! commissioned by DANCEworks at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara (premiere 2014); Labyrinth at Abrons Arts Center (premiere 2014); NEWYORKnewyork @ Astor Place at Joe’s Pub, commissioned by DanceNow NYC (premiere 2015); Whistleblower commissioned by Dixon Place (premiere 2015) and Elvis Everywhere commissioned by ADF (premiere 2017) Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival (2017), New York Live Arts (2018).
MARK DENDY 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. Mark Dendy Dance & Theatre was presented at PS 122, the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center, Central Park SummerStage, Kennedy Center and Dance Theater Workshop, as well as numerous national and international venues. Dendy has been commissioned by both modern and ballet companies worldwide, most notably Pacific Northwest Ballet. Mark has collaborated with directors Julie Taymor, Tina Landau, Gabriel Barre, Ellen Hemphill, Rebecca Taichman and Timothy Sheader; writers Neil Simon and Charles Busch; and composers Boy George, Don Byron, Andrew Lippa, Heather Christian, Jim Steinman and Stephen Schwartz. Commercial theater credits include choreography for Taboo and The Pirate Queen (Broadway); The Wild Party, The Miracle Brothers and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well... (Off-Broadway); Pippin, Camille Claudel and Hair (regional and national tours); The Magic Flute (Metropolitan Opera); Orpheus (NYC Opera); and Rappaccini’s Daughter (Gotham Chamber Opera, NYC).
Dendy has received many 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. Callaway Award, as well as numerous grants. Recent works include Golden Belt, set in an abandoned tobacco-processing factory in North Carolina, at the American Dance Festival (premiere 2009); Ritual Cyclical, an epic site-specific work for 80 dancers, at Lincoln Center (premiere 2013); Dystopian Distractions! at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara (premiere 2014); Labyrinth at Abrons Arts Center (premiere 2014); NEWYORKnewyork @Astor Place at Joe’s Pub (premiere 2015); Whistleblower at Dixon Place (premiere 2015) and Elvis Everywhere (premiere 2017 American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2017, New York Live Arts 2018).
STEPHEN DONOVAN studied Contemporary Art at Nottingham Trent University under the leadership of, interdisciplinary artist and social sculpture practitioner, Shelley Sacks and Acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute where he was a member of Irma Sandrey’s professional class.
Donovan and Dendy have been collaborating since working on the Rosie O’Donnell/Boy George Broadway musical Taboo. Stephen’s works with Dendy includes Ritual Cyclical - producer and costume designer (Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 2013); Dystopian Distractions! - video, costume and sound design, and performer (Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, 2014); Labyrinth - performer, video, set and costume designer (Abrons Arts Center, 2014); NEWYORKnewyork @ Astor Place - video, sound, set and costume designer, and performer (Joe’s Pub, 2015); Whistleblower - video, sound, set and costume designer, and performer (Dixon Place, NYC 2015); and Elvis Everywhere - video, sound, set and costume designer, co-director and performer (premiere 2017 American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2017, New York Live Arts 2018). With Dendy, Donovan conceives and develops the work, is a dramaturge, designs and makes the visuals - costume, sets, video and props, and manages the company, and when there is time he performs as well.
Other credits include performer in Comedians (La MaMa E.T.C.); costume designer for Desperate Writers (Union Square Theatre - off Broadway), and co- writer and designer for Andru's Head (NY Fringe) Experiments & Disorder (Dixon Place) and Girl/Talk (Mind the Gap Theatre). Stephen has worked extensively as a performer, designer, and director and tried about everything else.