I was fortunate enough to attend a “Friday Club” rehearsal of DANCEworks‘ guest resident choreographer Mark Dendy‘s new work Dystopian Distractions! (This job certainly has some perks …!) A powerful and extremely ambitious new work, Dendy describes it as “a black comedic deconstruction of the American war machine as conceived by an artists interested in exploring our relationship with war through the lens of pop culture.”
The pieces I saw in rehearsal explored not only issues of war and power struggles, but also had a strong environmental message, which is fitting given that the world premiere production falls the same week as Earth Day.
DANCEworks is a collaboration between SUMMERDANCE Santa Barbara and the Lobero Theatre Foundation designed to offer notable choreographers a month-long residency in which to create, rehearse and premiere a brand new work on the Lobero stage. This partnership puts Santa Barbara on the map as a community that supports the creation of new choreography in a significant way. DANCEworks is gaining broad recognition within the world of contemporary dance and has already contributed to the careers of groundbreaking choreographers Aszure Barton, Larry Keigwin, Doug Elkins and Brian Brooks.
Dystopian Distractions! premieres this Saturday night, April 26, at 8 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre. Tickets are available now at the Lobero Box Office, 805/963-0761. The theater is located at 33 E. Canon Perdido St.
Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on April 22, 2014.