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Research Guides

Chamber Dance Company Archive: Mark Dendy

A unique collection of video documenting the UW Chamber Dance Dance Company's over 25 year history of performing modern dance classics.

Selection from Mark Dendy's "Afternoon of the Fauns"

Mark Dendy




American choreographer, playwright and actor

When I came here [to New York], in the early 1980s, I was wild and I was angry and I was going to destroy the closet of gay choreographers who pretended their dances were about men and women. I was going to have men dancing with men, and everybody in dresses.

Dance Magazine 2003

Born in Weaverville, North Carolina, May 29, 1961, Mark Dendy began his professional performing career with Pooh Kaye, Ruby Shang, Pearl Lang and the Martha Graham Ensemble under the direction of Yuriko Kikuchi. Mark Dendy Dance, founded in 1984 to explore ritual, movement invention and kinetics, evolved into Mark Dendy Dance and Theater, reflecting Dendy’s interest in the use of text and scripted “dance plays” as well as theater pieces. His work is frequently kindled by societal issues and examines such diverse themes as fame, gender, religion, heritage, violence, and politics. His trademark, however, is his quick, often sacrilegious wit that elucidates both the strengths and frailties of the human spirit. He has received four National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, support from the Jerome Foundation, Harkness Foundation, Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and New York State Council on the Arts, and an award for Sustained Achievement in the Arts from the National Society of Arts and Letters.

Watch clips of Mark Dendy's work, including Beat and Afternoon of the Fauns, at the Media Arcade in Vol. 22 of the Chamber Dance Company Archive (DVD UWDP 001 v.22).