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Conceived, Written, and Directed by Raja Feather Kelly
Original music composed by Christoph Mateka
Video and projection by Laura Snow
Lighting Design by Tuçe Yasak
Photography by Kate Enman
Performance by Chris Bell, Ashley Chavonne, Ami Gernux, Alexandria Giroux, Sara Gurevich, Amy Hoang, and Nick Sciscione
the feath3r theory (TF3T)’s The Absolute Future (or Death, Loneliness, and The Absolute Future of the Multiverse, or How to Cover the Sun with Mud) is a devised danced-theatre performance choreographed, written, and directed by Raja Feather Kelly. Featuring seven performers and original music composition by Christoph Mateka, The Absolute Future is about a group of friends who attempt to watch The Great American Eclipse (April 8, 2024) and miss it. In this world, a constellation of shadows come together in a daring mix of fiction, reality, fantasy, and surrealism. It’s highly physical and sharply narrative.
On their journey, the friends reflect on their experiences of cultural phenomena, from Y2K through the Eclipse. Their stories, both spoken and physicalized, materialize a multiverse comprising everything–the entirety of space, time, matter, energy, information, and the physical laws and constants that describe them–ultimately landing them in a state of existential crisis. Darkness. The fear of totality. While the text tells one story of people coming together, the bodies sculpt a tumultuous story of crashing and exploding.
The Great American Eclipse is a real astronomical event and a rare occurrence where the Moon casts a shadow on the Earth, allowing us to reflect upon our collective understanding of the Earth as a part of a larger system. Astrologically, shadows are about transition, revelation, and that which is hidden. Psychologically, shadow work is about that which we push down, repress, or otherwise disassociate from.
This passionately human and humorously charged work is furious, sensitive, and pulsates with a heart that is desperate to find a connection in a world evolving to keep us divided. The central question: “Do we make culture or does culture make us?”
the feath3r theory (TF3T) was founded in 2009 and was dedicated to Raja Feather Kelly’s interest in the life and work of Andy Warhol. The number 3 in TF3T speaks to the equal importance of dance-theatre-media in the work. Influenced by his research into the life and ideas of Warhol, Kelly expanded his company of dancers and designers to self-produce TF3T’s first evening-length production Andy Warhol’s DRELLA (I love you Faye Driscoll) in 2013 at the Invisible Dog Arts Center in Brooklyn. The ensemble’s many awards include a 2018-2020 HERE Arts Fellowship, the Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography (2016), and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography (2017).
Raja Feather Kelly is a choreographer, director, and the Artistic Director of the feath3r theory (TF3T). Kelly has created 18 evening-length premieres with the feath3r theory. He has choreographed many off-Broadway productions, most recently Michael R. Jackson’s White Girl in Danger. Kelly choreographed the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Broadway musical A Strange Loop. He has received numerous accolades, including three Princess Grace Awards, an Obie Award and an Outer Critics Circle honor, among many others.
The Absolute Future was first developed with a Research and Development Commission as a part of the Live Arts Bard commissioning program at the Fisher Center at Bard (fishercenter.bard.edu), Co-Commissioned by NYU SKIRBALL Center, and with generous support from The Simons Foundation and is part of its “In the Path of Totality” initiative. (For more information, visit inthepathoftotality.org.)
NYU SKIRBALL SUPPORT
NYU Skirball’s presentation of The Absolute Future is made possible in part with support from the Harkness Foundation for Dance and the Kip & Ginny Gaylor Fund.
NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and by Howard Gilman Foundation; FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with Villa Albertine; General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA; Collins Building Services; Korean Cultural Center New York, Marta Heflin Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; as well as our valued donors through memberships, commissioning, and Stage Pass Fund support.