April 15, 2019

Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview Wins 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

The 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama has been awarded to Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview, which made its world premiere off-Broadway last season at Soho Rep. and later appeared at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Fairview marks Drury's first Pulitzer win. 


April 13, 2019

Review: Opera Omaha gives restored version of 'Faust' a heavenly debut

At the Orpheum Theater on Friday night, Opera Omaha turned this ancient bit of wisdom into an incredible double-entendre. With Steven White conducting the Omaha Symphony, an Opera Omaha production of Charles Gounod’s “Faust” played with the value of intention from a composer’s point of view, a hero’s point of view, a villain’s point of view and a patron’s point of view in an exhilarating production.

April 3, 2019

Nominations for 34th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards Announced

Outstanding Choreographer
Raja Feather Kelly, If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka


March 20, 2019

Theatre Development Fund’s TDF Stages Magazine
How Raja Feather Kelly Gives Shows All the Right Moves

Director Sarah Benson says, "Raja is interested in how movement can create empathy. And in pursuit of that he is continually interrogating the loop of us creating culture and culture creating us." Kelly says that his approach to choreographing plays and musicals really isn't all that different. "I'm storytelling," he says. "It's the same amount of work. The process is different in that musical theatre provides more of a guide as to where the dance will happen. In plays, as in my own work, I have to decide where everything goes."


March 11, 2019

Time Out New York
Review: If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka (4 Stars)

The music (by Ian Scot) and choreography (by Raja Feather Kelly) are superb, and the costumes (by Dede Ayite) are like characters themselves, with little journeys and heartbreaks of their own. If Pretty Hurts is both exciting and crushing; it contains a sense of danger. That’s the combined effect of the music, the production and Sampson’s play: It's the feeling of being barraged by talent, all of it at full flood.


March 10, 2019

New York Times
Review: Beauty, Blackness and Beyoncé, in ‘If Pretty Hurts’

Ms. Gardiner works wonders with just scarves and bodies and the simplest of stage tricks. Those bodies are choreographed, in that scene and in two thrilling musical sequences, by Raja Feather Kelly, bringing lift to the narrative without dispersing it. 


February 21, 2019

Dance Magazine
The Music That Makes Raja Feather Kelly Feel Like He's In His Own Movie

For choreographer Raja Feather Kelly, music is simple: "There's good music and there's bad music and I love good music and I love to hate bad music." But, true to form, Kelly had some surprises up his sleeve when he made us a playlist he describes as "for moody Geminis who work over 12 hours a day and need a playlist that can shuffle and never disappoint."


January 31, 2019

Dance Magazine
Skittles Just Created a "Broadway Musical" Starring Michael C. Hall

"People are starting to realize that experimental theater is the place for new ideas," says choreographer Raja Feather Kelly. "They're being really self-reflective as an ad agency, taking a look at this consumerist product." Kelly has fashioned the choreography as a love letter to his favorite Broadway shows, throwing in references to everything from West Side Story to The Wiz.


December 18. 2018

New York Times
Raja Feather Kelly Named New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist

“Raja is simply unclassifiable, driven by discipline and something akin to a belligerent attack on the commonplace, the mild, the uncommitted,” the New York Live Arts artistic director Bill T. Jones and associate artistic director Janet Wong said in a statement.


November 25, 2018

Broadway World
BWW Previews: THE GOOD SWIMMER World Premiere at BAM Fishman Space

Choreographer, Raja Feather Kelly meticulously investigated the choirs' movement abilities by first opening them up in a circle discussion by asking their astrological signs and dance backgrounds. It turned out to be a great way to get the college-aged professionals to get comfortable and feel accepted for who they are in the space. When I returned to check out the rehearsals at another date, this exploration had led to dramatic gestures, full of meaning in their simplicity and trust in the timing and words.


September 5, 2018

New York Times
A ‘Yellow Glamour Alien’

Thinking about what he feels is “a lack of nuance about how people talk about being black or being queer,” Raja Feather Kelly created “Black Queer Zoo.”


July 26, 2018

New York Times
Review: In ‘Lempicka,’ Blond Ambition Is Set in a New Key

Raja Feather Kelly’s highly imaginative and efficient choreography, based in simple and clear-cut gestures, keeps the cast in synchronized swirl. 


June 17, 2018

New York Times
Review: Theater as Sabotage in the Dazzling ‘Fairview’

Don’t underestimate the importance of Ryan Courtney’s props, which assume alarmingly multifarious roles, and Raja Feather Kelly’s choreography. Dancing is a big part of “Fairview,” but it isn’t there for entertainment purposes, or not for long, anyway. It [Fairview] is also a glorious, scary reminder of the unmatched power of live theater to rattle, roil and shake us wide awake.


March 29, 2018

Dance Magazine
In The Studio: Raja Feather Kelly On Love, Money and Andy Warhol

Raja Feather Kelly's gender-bending, race-flipping and thought-provoking work Another Fucking Warhol Production or Who's Afraid of Andy Warhol?—now titled The Love Episode (Another Fucking Warhol Production)—is making its way back to the stage. Per usual, the music will make you want to stand up in your seat and dance your pants off, but it's not a show you'll want to bring the kids to.


October 16, 2018

The Mercury News
Thrilling ‘Fairview’ will blow your mind at Berkeley Rep

Raja Feather Kelly’s choreography slides from cakewalks to chaos before you know it, sucking us into a theatrical apocalypse where all bets are off. Be prepared to take a good hard look in the mirror. Like other radical theater auteurs, Drury smashes convention with a hammer.


October 15, 2018

Los Angeles Times
Review: Playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury daringly deconstructs the theater of black identity in 'Fairview' at Berkeley Rep

Benson’s production is a wild ride that makes giddy use of Sly and the Family Stone’s hit “Family Affair.” The choreography by Raja Feather Kelly, aided by Amith Chandrashaker’s lighting and Mikaal Sulaiman’s sound design, turns social critique into a vibrating dance party. The play is dangerous, no doubt about it, but it’s also enlightening and provocatively fun.

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July 25, 2017

HowlRound Theatre Commons
We’re All That: Raja Feather Kelly and the Imprint of Pop

Another Fucking Warhol Production or Who’s Afraid of Andy Warhol? (The Love Episode), the latest event in the feath3r theory’s ongoing dance theatre project inspired by the ’60s pop art icon, is not a standard journey from “this” to “that.” Rather, company leader Raja Feather Kelly explores the duality of what pop fans want from their products: to escape and to learn how to live. 

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December 22, 2016

The Dance Enthusiast
Impressions of: "Daisy Chain" Curated by Christopher Williams for Fridays at Noon at the 92nd St. Y

Raja Feather Kelly’s Bottomless Pathos is like a surrealist painting — bizarre, yet satisfying. Dancer Bryan Strimpel wears a colorful dress, reminiscent of a 1970s housewife. Although faceless, he enchants with the complex nuance of his physicality. 


November 21, 2016

The Dance Enthusiast
Impressions of: National Intimacy Month featuring Chelsea Murphy and Magda San Millan, B.S Movement & the feath3r theory

National Intimacy Month is an ABC guide of how to watch and experience dance through a lens of physical intimacy. It’s accessible to all viewers by presenting digestible layers of conventional affection that exist at the nexus of movement and familiarity.


November 16, 2016

The Village Voice
Racial Histories Repeat in ‘Party People’ and ‘Death of the Last Black Man’

These histories are bleak, but watching Parks’s play is not. She renders racial violence palpable but strange, transforming history into disturbing, evocative ritual. Blain-Cruz and choreographer Raja Feather Kelly, with the excellent ensemble, celebrate these elements of the play, emphasizing its rhythmic language and adding exuberant dance breaks.


November 3, 2016

The Dance Enthusiast
Impressions of: Damn Good Featuring Launch Movement Experiment, the feath3r theory & Coco Karol at Triskelion Arts

Raja Feather Kelly’s Oh could be named Bertha Mason: The Untold Story. (Mason, a fictional character in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, was Rochester's mentally ill first wife who was locked up in their attic.) Gurevich delivers a catatonic and unbridled performance reminiscent of Mason’s temperament in the novel.


June 3, 2016

InfiniteBody Blog by Eva Yaa Asantewaa
’TROPICO’: between what is solid and what is not there

Kelly's work proceeds with dream-like pacing, scrambled sequencing, mystifying vagueness and excess. Kelly has quoted Warhol: “It’s the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.” I don't know if Warhol had a point, but I think Kelly is fighting back with a barrage of live art that's about not telling you any of these things but maybe pushing you to figure out how to be with it and with yourself inside it.


May 31, 2016

Dance Magazine
On the Rise: Raja Feather Kelly

With spidery limbs and a sprawling imagination, Brooklyn-based Raja Feather Kelly brings a vivid boundlessness to all he does. Whether dancing for the likes of Reggie Wilson or cooking up his own darkly entertaining dance-theater productions, he seems insatiably curious. 
What David Dorfman is saying: “There's no one I've met who moves like Raja," says Kelly's longtime mentor. “He has that long, lanky body, but plenty of people are tall and thin. It's the way he uses it. He works with an immediacy, a power and an element of surprise that's very exciting and human."


May 26, 2016

New York Times
Raja Feather Kelly, Bowing at the Altar of Saint Warhol

With deadpan wit and a 12-member ensemble embodying archetypes from movies, television and children’s stories, Mr. Kelly’s fusion of dance and theater shifts seamlessly from absurd to cheeky to the unexpectedly and piercingly sincere. 


February 18, 2016

The Dance Enthusiast
Impressions of Raja Feather Kelly's "Lyrical Dances for a Lost Generation"

When you're the only black boy performing lyrical dances at a competition, how are you aided or hindered in your growth as an artist? How can we subvert the parameters of our own artistic history, for our benefit. When, during Kelly's piece, Miley Cyrus' voice sang “It's our party we can do what we want,” everything made sense. 


September 18, 2015

New York Times
Review: For DanceNow’s 20th Anniversary, an Encore at Joe’s Pub

“Lana Del Rey’s 37 Reasons,” by the feath3r theory, was the most intriguing selection. Defying the strict confines of time and space, Raja Feather Kelly had a cast of nine mill about with sullen aimlessness and argue to the noirish melodrama of Ms. Del Rey’s music.

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April 21, 2015

OUT Magazine
Andy Warhol + A Chorus Line = One Singular Sensation

With a little bit of Tyra, and a little bit of RuPaul, choreographer Raja Feather Kelly presents the imagined revival of Warhol’s supposedly-intended pop art take on the classic musical. Much of his work has a sense of humor, and a tinge of sadness; it’s dead serious, with a wink. When he says he’s obsessed with Andy Warhol, you believe him. He tells us that in his research, he discovered notes from Warhol that appear to be initial sketches for a revival of A Chorus Line — it didn’t get far because Warhol died in 1987 — so Kelly sought to imagine it. It’s hard to verify this, but even if the premise is an invented one, it’s brilliant.


April 20, 2015

Imagining Warhol Imagining Broadway

There’s so much to note in this ambitious production it’s hard to know where to start. Andy Warhol’s 15 features an incredibly sexy and compelling cast of performers. “Sexy” risks sounding condescending or looks-based, but I don’t know what other word to use. Given that the show is basically pitting a dozen performers against one another in an ongoing competition, it says something that nearly every one of them is compelling in their own right. And Kelly himself deserves recognition for his role as the director channeling Warhol: aloof, incidentally cruel, dispassionate, and incredibly charismatic.


April 15, 2015

New York Theatre Review
One Very Singular Sensation

Each segment leads deeper and deeper down a Warholian rabbit hole, a dreamscape of candy-colored madness mixing experimental dance with video and pop culture critique. The surprise of each new scene is half the fun; watching themes build and interlink becomes more and more thrilling. The complexity of this kind of work requires multiple viewings and time to digest. 


February 3, 2015

The Dance Enthusiast
Impressions of Raja Feather Kelly and Tzveta Kassabova's "Super WE"

While noise and brightness fill St. Mark’s Church in these interludes, what is most present is absence: Kelly and Kassabova’s. Their ability to dance beyond their skin, becoming all visceral spirit, seduces us, and we miss them when, much like an odd but delightful dream, they fade into darkness, leaving us only the imprint of their uncurbed physical fervor.


April 23, 2015

New York Times
Imagining a Warholian ‘Chorus Line’

Rather than simply presenting “A Chorus Line” for the Twitter generation, “Color Me, Warhol” focuses on the process of remaking the musical: Mr. Kelly’s research, his meditations on Warhol and an actual audition that unfolds onstage. (The outcome changes from performance to performance.)


February 4, 2015

New York Times
Review: Attuned in Rhythm, Whether Together or Apart

Dancegoers may recognize Mr. Kelly from the work of choreographers like Reggie Wilson and David Dorfman. While he’s always striking, it was a pleasure to see him in something of his own design, looking even more acutely attuned to each moment.


June 13, 2014

Voguing Andy Warhol in Whiteface

Raja Feather Kelly’s voguing of Drella distills this history into a potent force of performance art that critiques and undermines what Warhol’s — and, by extension, our society’s — preference for white meant yesterday and continues to mean today.


January 6, 2014

The Dance Enthusiast
Impressions Of: The feath3r theory presents "Andy Warhol's DRELLA ( I Love You Faye Driscoll)"

How they strut and sashay their skirts, these retro housewives in white schoolgirl socks. Baring their legs, the six dancers perform splits and high kicks that would put the perkiest cheerleader to shame.