tHE aGe Of anXiEty

a dAnceD pLay pOem

Conceived by Mark Dendy, Stephen Donovan & Erica Hunt

Poetry by Erica Hunt with Yanyi, & W.H.Auden

Written, Directed and Produced by Mark Dendy & Stephen Donovan                   

Choreography by Mark Dendy in collaboration with the performers                        

Performers: Ashley R.T. Yergen, Mei Yamanaka, Kameron Porter, Kayla M. Farrish, Stephen Donovan, Mark Dendy, Cheryl Cochran, Malaika Cambridge, London Brison  

Costumes by Stephen Donovan & Mark Dendy

Video, Sound, and all other distractions by Stephen Donovan

ADF @ DIXON PLACE APAP 2019 (a 25 minute preview of work in progress)

January 3 - 5 at 6:00pm

ADF @ DIXON PLACE. A showcase of work by five artists that AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL champions. ADF is providing a showcase for these talented artists because the works are not currently represented by a booking agent. The works are and or will be available for touring soon. ADF has presented work by all of the artists and is dedicated to sharing their work with other presenters.

ERICA HUNT is a poet, and essayist, author of Local History and Arcade, Piece Logic, Time Flies Right Before the Eyes and A Day and Its Approximates. Her poems and essays have appeared in BOMB, Boundary 2, Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetics Journal, Tripwire, Recluse, In the American Tree and Conjunctions. With poet and scholar Dawn Lundy Martin, Hunt is co-editor of an anthology of new writing by Black women, Letters to the Future, forthcoming in 2018 from Kore Press.

Hunt has received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Fund for Poetry, and the Djerassi Foundation and is a past fellow of Duke University/University of Capetown Program in Public Policy. She is now the Parsons Family University Professor of Creative Writing in the MFA Program at Long Island University--Brooklyn.

Before assuming her current post, Ms. Hunt worked for more than 25 years in social justice philanthropy, first as a program officer at New World Foundation, and later as president of the Twenty-First Century Foundation, a leading public foundation dedicated to advancing Black community change.

Photo by Yi-Chun Wu

Photo by Yi-Chun Wu

THE AGE OF ANXIETY, the Pulitzer prize book length poem by W.H. Auden, captured the post-war feeling of shock after the rise of fascism as te world transitioned into a new order anchored by the organizational man, and consumer capitalism (buy and be), a hedge against the brittle edges of the Cold War. Against this backdrop, four individuals, aspects of Auden himself, strive to make sense and meaning, from the ashes of the convulsed past world, in order to imagine, intuit, reason and love their way to an authentic and livable present.

Our AGE OF ANXIETY traces contemporary agitation in the body (politic) and is also a response to the resurgence of fascism in our culture today. In performances situated in multiple characters, bodies and voices, we explore how difference shapes anxiety: Black, White, Latinx or Asian, queer or trans, newcomer or old, female and male, gay and straight, past frames seem insufficient, and new frames that center respect and dignity for all are still emerging. Characters navigate the space of the in-between, practicing a generative freedom that is part wishful thinking and part rehearsal, while in some respects never far away from the possibility of public violence. In we present here, anxiety calls you by name.

PART 1 - With our signature searing social satire and daring full throttle physicality - part one explores a culture in crisis from a resurgence in fascism and reeling from social injustice issues for people of color and LGBTQ folk. We are searching for a new way to communicate in a world dominated by high tech and media and constant distraction and consumerism gone haywire.

PART 2 - Will explore the breakdown of language, censorship and our are inability to have conversations without attacking and censoring each other. In our search for acceptance, disparate factions in fight when we ultimately have the same goal. It will take place in Academia. Part lecture, part local bar. The characters based on Auden, a sociologist, poets and other bohemians.

PART 3 - The house of broken things. Will be a madcap surreal deconstruction of an addictive consumerist culture on its last leg. A wasteland on the outskirts of the city is a compound housing. The Detritus of the Society. Appliances, throwaways catalogued by “nerdy” workers. Rhythmic text and a quirky score will accentuate group patterns and eccentric solo work.

YANYI is a poet and critic. In 2018, he won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize,* awarded by Carl Phillips, for his first book, The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press 2019). He is an associate editor at Foundry and the recipient of fellowships from the Asian American Writers Workshop and Poets House.

* Yale Younger Poet Prize, a prize judged by W.H. Auden from 1946 to 1958