"I decided to create Dystopian Distractions! because of my concern that there was little work being created in the modern dance community on the subject of war. I was appalled to learn that the “sick” reality show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, got higher ratings than did the final presidential debate in 2012! It appeared to me that Americans would rather be distracted from reality than be engaged in it." MARK DENDY
DYSTOPIAN DISTRACTIONS was commissioned and presented by DANCEworks, Santa Barbara, CA and created during a four week residency.
WORLD PREMIERE April 26, 2014
DANCEworks, Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA
Written, Directed and Conceived by Mark Dendy
Additional Text from Bertolt Brecht
Choreography by Mark Dendy in collaboration with dancers
Lighting Designer, Set Designer and Stage Manager Jay Ryan
Costumes, Video and Sound by Stephen Donovan
Plastic Monster Costume by Liz Prince
Fight Direction by Jeff Mills
PERFORMERS: Mark Dendy, Stephen Donovan, Michael Figueroa, Colette Krogol, Abigail Levine, Catherine Miller, Matt Reeves, Brandon Washington
WAR GAMES PLAYERS: Noah Block, Jane Lewis
DUCKY DOO-DOO BACK UP DANCERS: Isabel Barense, Allie Cole, Lucia Metcalfe, Skyler Storm, Luna Webster, Sophia Webster
COMMUNITY PERFORMERS: Melissa Block, Alexandra Cole, Claudia Erle, Hylla Fischer, Maya Shaw Gale, Kristine Haugh, Charley Lewis, Jody Lewis, Maisy Lewis, Joan Melendez, Chris Rahlwes, Arlene Satterlee, Joanne Terry
GODZILLA VICTIM: Charley Lewis
In April 2014 Dendy has had a commissioned residency at DANCEworks funded by the Dianne and Dan Vapnek Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Santa Barbara to create Part 1 of Dystopian Distractions!"
"Mark Dendy’s “Dystopian Distractions!" was the most thought-provoking entry. In an Army uniform and a gas mask, he sat on a stool and gesticulated to the sound of Donald Rumsfeld being interviewed on C-SPAN. The segment was intriguing: an anecdote about the time that Sammy Davis Jr. introduced Mr. Rumsfeld to Elvis Presley in Las Vegas, and all Elvis wanted to talk about was the Army. Mr. Dendy’s hunched body language was Nixonian, yet it caught some of Mr. Rumsfeld’s creepy gregariousness, and the mask made the solo more ambiguous than a strict impersonation."
- Brian Seibert THE NEW YORK TIMES
Photos by David Bazemore
“A variety show mash-up of dance, spoken word, physical theater, music, and stage design, Dystopian Distractions! is Dendy’s dazzling and courageous commentary on America. It’s a wild, satirical romp through the wasteland of popular culture and modern warfare — subjects that could easily lead to a heavy-handed slog. Instead, Dendy achieves a rare and heady blend of high entertainment and smart social criticism."
- Elizabeth Scwyzer, SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT