ADF presents excerpts of three new dance theater works by

Mark Dendy
Claire Porter & Sara Juli

January 5, 7:30pm
January 6, 10:30pm
January 7, 4:30pm

To purchase tickets visit here.

To make a presenter reservation email Sarah Tondu at

$15 in advance, $20 at the door $12 students/seniors
presenters attend for free

Mark Dendy Projects

Elvis Everywhere (ADF Commission—Premieres at ADF in July 2017)

Dendy’s latest work Elvis Everywhere celebrates the king of rock ‘n’ roll and the cult of Celebrity in America, cultural appropriation, and war propaganda full of searing social satire and no holes barred physicality.

“Dendy’s work dazzles the eye like a Roman candle in a rush of speed, force, Brilliance, and surprise.”  The Washington Post

Mark Dendy Projects was formed in 2008, with longtime collaborator Stephen Donovan, to create socially conscious dance-theater work. Works include Golden Belt, set in an abandoned tobacco-processing factory in North Carolina (premiere 2009, American Dance Festival); Ritual Cyclical, an epic site-specific work for 80 dancers at Lincoln Center Out of Doors (premiere 2013); Dystopian Distractions! at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara (premiere 2014); Labyrinth at Abrons Arts Center (premiere 2014); NEWYORKnewyork @Astor Place at Joe’s Pub; Whistleblower, Dixon Place, 2015.

Mark Dendy has steadily defied the expectation to work in defined categories throughout his career. He has traveled from experimental dance, and edgy East Village drag to high-end Broadway productions, prominent ballet companies and opera to large-scale site-specific works, refusing to capitulate to the dance hegemony that often dictates artists’ choices.

From 1983 to 2008, Mark Dendy Dance & Theatre was presented at PS 122, the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center, Central Park SummerStage, and Dance Theater Workshop, as well as numerous national and international venues. Dendy has been commissioned by both modern and ballet companies worldwide, most notably Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 1990 Dendy started producing work that encompasses text, gesture, and nonlinear narrative.

In 2000 Dendy ventured into the theater and opera world. He has collaborated with directors Julie Taymor, Tina Landau, Gabriel Barre, Ellen Hemphill, Rebecca Taichman, and Timothy Sheader; writers Neil Simon and Charles Busch; and composers Boy George, Heather Christian, Don Byron, Andrew Lippa, Jim Steinman, and Stephen Schwartz. His commercial theater credits include choreography for Taboo, The Pirate Queen (Broadway); The Wild Party, The Miracle Brothers, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well… (Off-Broadway); Pippin, Camille Claudel, Hair (regional and national tours); The Magic Flute (Metropolitan Opera); Orpheus (NYC Opera); and Rappaccini’s Daughter (Gotham Chamber Opera).

He has received a wide variety of awards and honors, most notably a 1997 Bessie Award, a 2000 Obie Award for his choreography for The Wild Party, the National Society of Arts and Letters Sustained Achievement Award (1990), the Herb Alpert Award and the Joe A. Calloway Award (both in 2000), as well as numerous grants.


Claire Porter and Sara Juli

The Lectern (ADF Commission—Premieres at ADF in June 2017)

Living according to rules is the demand on all of us. Etiquette lessons, manners, and protocols, enacted in lectures and demonstrations, reveal these rules have lives of their own. And they take over. This is a game to be played. This evening-length dance-theater duet by acclaimed comedic performers Claire Porter and Sara Juli uncovers unruly rules and the games underneath. ADF paired this dynamic duo for the first time in 2015 and is delighted to reunite them again.

“…the two had delightfully funny characterizations and zany senses of physical comedy.” The News and Observer


Claire Porter and Sara Juli are entering their third year of creating and performing dances together. Claire and Sara premiered an ADF commissioned piece, Small Stories at American Dance Festival in summer of 2015 and will premiere a new duet called, The Lectern, at ADF this summer in 2017.

Claire Porter, choreographer/performer/writer, known for her comedic text & movement work and her skilled teaching, has performed her work, Claire Porter / PORTABLES, in Scotland, India, Germany, Holland, England, Latvia, Poland and Korea and in the New York City area at Theater Row, DTW, Danspace St. Mark’s Church, PS 122, Joe’s Pub, The Kitchen, The Joyce Theater, Joyce SOHO, 92nd St. Y, Town Hall, The Bottom Line, The NY Horticulture Society, NJPAC and Liberty Science Center. PORTABLES has also showcased at the American Dance Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy, Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Florida Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth Theater DC, Tampa Bay Off Center Theater, Duncan Theater Palm Beach FL, Center Stage Raleigh NC, The Southern Theater Minneapolis MN and at The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard. Porter appears at fundraisers and special events and created and performed Namely, Muscles, recipient of the NYC Fringe Festival 2010’s Overall Excellence Award and UnitedSolo Festival 2015’s Best Poetry Show, at festivals, conferences, theaters, medical schools and universities. Intrigued by syntax Claire created Sen-tence performed at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater produced by DanceNow that included Falling for Prepositions, Witnessing Adverbs and Pronoun Emergency. At Montclair State University she created Sentenced to Sentences, at NYU, Having Conjunctions and at Purchase College, Out of The Question.
Porter is the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Residency in Italy 2016 at The Bellagio Center, a Guggenheim Fellowship 2013, several National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships, New Jersey State Council for the Arts Choreography Fellowships, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Awards, NewMusicUSA Awards and Commissions from The American Dance Festival Dance, Theater Workshop’s First Light Project, The 92nd St Y Harkness Dance Festival, Art Matters, Meet The Composer, VOGUE Magazine, University Dance Companies, and Domino’s Pizza Company. Porter has an MA in Dance from Ohio State, a BA in Mathematics from The College of New Rochelle, is on the Advisory Board of DanceNJ,, and is a Laban Movement Analyst, Contact her at


Sara Juli, Creator/Performer, has been creating and performing innovative solo work since 2000. Sara’s newest solo piece, Tense Vagina: an actual diagnosis premiered to sold-out houses in Portland, ME at SPACE Gallery in October 2015. Since then, the show has toured to Bates Dance Festival, 3S Artspace, The Dance Complex, Asheville Masonic Temple and many more, including six performances at American Dance Festival in June 2016 and four performance at The Chocolate Factory Theater in NYC in October 2016. Tense Vagina received a 2015-16 New England Foundation for the Arts NEST Touring Grant and a New England Foundation for the Arts New England Dance Fund Grant.

In NYC, Sara’s work has been presented by Performance Space 122, Danspace Project, 92nd St. Y, Joe’s Pub as part of the Dancenow/NYC Festival, Joyce Soho, Bushwick Starr, and Dixon Place among others.  Nationally, her work has been performed at Napa Valley Opera House, Connecticut College, UC Riverside, Bates College, Artown Reno, IN’s Center for the Performing Arts, among others. In February 2006, she created and performed her first full-evening solo show, The Money Conversation, where she gave away her life savings ($5,000 in cash), in a sold-out run at PS122. The Money Conversation toured nationally and internationally from 2007 to 2012 to sold-out houses in The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, London, Russia, and around the United States. The piece received notable press coverage in The New York Times, The New York Post, and Time Out (New York and New Zealand), on Fox Five News, and National Public Radio.

Sara’s fundraising consulting practice, Surala Consulting, is in its seventh year and advises national artists and non-profits on strategic fundraising solutions. Sara was awarded the Arts Management Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2013 and is an Advisory Board member of The Field in NYC and Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, ME where she also taught, The Business of Dance in summer 2015 and 2016. She graduated with honors from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, with degrees in Dance and Anthropology. After 15 years in NYC, Sara relocated to Portland, ME in 2014, with her husband and two children.  You can learn more about Sara at and



Cherdonna will make her ADF Debut  June 2017

Cherdonna is a queer, fem, female bodied, professionally trained, contemporary dancer who uses clowning, drag, theater, comedy, performance art, camp, pop culture, gay culture, dance traditions, feminist traditions, absurdity and subversive commentary to make art. Cherdonna is a persona created by Jody Kuehner to explore and question these characteristics in themselves and in the world. This excerpt is a mash-up of new material for a work premiering at On the Boards in Seattle November 2017.

“Cherdonna is like if you put a drag queen and a modern dancer and a person with severe psychological issues into a blender, and then poured out the result into a designer vintage gown…every time we’ve seen Cherdonna perform, we’ve had to go around cleaning up our own exploded brain matter off nearby surfaces. “ The Stranger


Jody Kuehner is a Seattle-based dance artist, director, and drag queen Cherdonna Shinatra. She is 2015 Stranger Genius Award winner, Velocity Dance Center’s 2014 Artist in Residence, and 2010 Spotlight Award winner. Her choreography has been presented by every major contemporary dance venue in Seattle including On The Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Bumbershoot, CityArtsFest, Northwest Film Forum, Henry Art Gallery and Frye Art Museum. Jody received funding for her current work from the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. Jody was Dayna Hanson’s Production Coordinator and Assistant Director 2010-2015 for various projects. She danced with Pat Graney company from 2007-2016 also assisting Graney’s KTF Prison Project. As Cherdonna, she performs with BenDeLaCreme (RuPaul’s Drag Race); and award-winning international sensations Kitten N’ Lou. Kuehner teaches Professional Contemporary Dance at Velocity, has taught at Strictly Seattle and Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation.