PRESS REVIEWS

LABYRINTH

"Mark Dendy is on a quest—for truth in his art, for acceptance of his past, for an honest confrontation of the world’s ills. The choreographer, now fifty-three, has been presenting work for more than thirty years; often it’s had an autobiographical basis, and elements of political or social commentary. Not to mention humor. Dendy has a sharp wit, which frequently emerges from the characters he creates, indelibly limned. His newest piece, the dance-play “Labyrinth,” at Abrons Arts Center, is a maelstrom of text, music, movement, and memory, coalescing in the end into a portrait of the artist as a hesitant hero in his own history." Andrew Boynton, THE NEW YORKER

"Pawnie, with her bad wig and her hairy belly, complains: “I can’t believe I’ve survived AIDS, the Tompkins Square Park riots, 9/11 and the crash of 2008. All to die of disgust at what this city has become. As long as artists like Mr. Dendy are making such distinctive, impulsive, personal work, there’s hope for the old town yet." Alexis Soloski, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"I was intrigued when I recently read about Dendy's new dance-play, Labyrinth -- in particular, how it compared and contrasted to his earlier piece. Reading about it took me back to the brief time I spent with him, and I was eager to find out how his..." Scott Alexander Hess, www.huffingtonpost.com 


DYSTOPIAN DISTRACTIONS!

“Mark Dendy's "Dystopian Distractions! Part 1” (at DanceNow at Joe's Pub) 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

"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   Full Review


RITUAL CYCLICAL                                                                                                                               

"Each cluster of performers may have enjoyed a singular terrain and choreography, but the borders were permeable. A dancer could migrate or shuttle between groups, and we could see a couple of dances at a time, one close and entire and another distant or in fragments. As in ritual, Dendy’s quilted work brought us to an understanding – of how perspective and affiliation shape insight, in this case – by ensconcing us in an experience."  Appolianaire Scherr, THE FINANCIAL TIMES


PRELIMINARY STUDY FOR DEPTH: THE UPPER HALF OF HIGH AND LOW  

LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS. NEW WORK PREMIERE - August 15, 2009''The sheer craftsmanship of Mr. Dendy’s dances was obvious, through-the-body energy from every performer gave it excitement, and the high level of mixture of psychology and populism was compelling. In particular Mr. Dendy can handle an ensemble of 16 or more (there were 24 dancers in all) in developing patterns, with contrasts of background and foreground, latitude and longitude, left and right, that were on several occasions mesmerizing... “Preliminary Study for Depth: The Upper Half of High and Low,” had qualities that would add distinction to many a Broadway production.'' Alastair MaCaulay  THE NEW YORK TIMES                        

"Dendy’s “Study for Depth” conjures a rather militant youth anthem. Dancers cut forcefully across the stage in inexorable patterns inspired by M.C. Escher’s mind bending lithographs. Mr. Dendy’s phrases often double back on themselves, seemingly to implode before the audience’s eyes. Relentless… Striking. The final image is chilling. The age of man is over, the age of the dancer has begun." Claudia La Rocco THE NEW YORK TIMES            

GOLDEN BELT 

GOLDEN BELT. DOWNTOWN DURHAM, NC.  Site-specific work – July 2009''Another Dendy Dandy. Choreographer drums up another winning piece at Golden Belt.''  Cliff Bellamy THE HERALD SUN                 


I’M GOING TO MY ROOM TO BE COOL NOW, AND I DON’T WANT TO BE DISTURBED   

"Dendy is a most unusual talent. The wild, mad, beautiful and extraordinarily energized choreography is all danced to Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Grace Slick, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell, The Temptations, even ends up with a runaround finale to Led Zeppelin. The dances are brilliant!"  Clive Barnes THE NEW YORK POST      

"Mr. Dendy’s piece is an expertly staged and directed suite of dances set to music of the time, performed by dancers who defy the laws of gravity, with supple technical skill and unflagging energy. The good time that he and his dancers are having is infectious.'' Jennifer Dunning THE NEW YORK TIMES                    

"It is at once homage and send-up, reminiscence and clinical observation. Dendy’s new piece, with its irresistible title, irrepressible rock songs and uncanny combination of fun and angst, frequently walks that fine line between passion and parody in recalling a sexual coming of age in the 70’s."  Sylviane Young NEW YORK NEWSDAY             

"Mark Dendy Dance and Theater’s world premiere of “Cool Now” provided an evening of pure pleasure. With his flair for the dramatic, erotic, stylish, funky and wild, Dendy with his dancers concocted a dance that proved modern dance can be good and entertaining too." Susan Broili THE DURHAM HERALD SUN                 

"Dendy Dance and Theater got their reticent Santa Barbara audience up on its feet with “Cool Now”, a piece easily accessible to a broad audience that hit its mark in brio and brilliance. And that’s not to say the work doesn’t present its challenges."  Korina R. Jochim  THE SANTA BARBARA HERALD           


 DREAM ANALYSIS 

"Dendy turns symmetry and twinning into the stuff of nightmares, schizophrenia and ribaldry… For all the mordant hilarity there is fine choreography and terrific performing… Both thrilling and deeply funny. Dendy confounds such distinctions all the time." Deborah Jowitt  VILLAGE VOICE                             

"It is hard to imagine the dance to come quite measuring up to the daring and accomplishment of the program presented by Mark Dendy Dance and Theater on Sunday night. The dance play worked triumphantly with Mr. Dendy performing a Penn and Teller juggling routine of writing, choreographing, direction and dancing without dropping one of the seeming dozens of disparate characters, plot lines or thought provoking themes. If anyone could pull this of, it would be Mr. Dendy, a blithe spirit with a varied, solid career in dance and theater. Still, his achievement here is something of a miracle." Jennifer Dunning  THE NEW YORK TIMES        

''The play is wonderfully economical. Never before have I seen dream logic, substitutions, apparitions and associations put to such good use on a stage. “Dream Analysis” ends with the two Nijinsky doing a hoppy new style version of the original “Afternoon of the Faunes”. Tortured in his life, the great dancer now sent a blessing from afar." Joan Acocella THE WALL STREET JOURNAL