John Kelly to bring queer history to Mass MoCA in dance, words, music, art

John Kelly, a theater artist of rare emotional depth, presents a solo work-in-progress based on personal journal entries about the East Village of the 1980s, gender performance, the culture wars, queer history, and more, that incorporates movement, projections, song, and spoken word. Kelly takes the stage at MASS MoCA on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 8pm.

John Kelly originally trained as a dancer, studying with top ballet schools before transitioning to the fine arts, with a focus on painting and drawing. His connection with the self-portrait progressed into his work with corporeal mime, trapeze, tight-wire, and voice. Each interest produces a different perspective on the human body, which has become a central theme in much of Kelly’s work.

unnamedKnown for his emotionally elaborate theater pieces, Kelly often draws on his own life experiences for inspiration. His projects run the gamut from mixed-media dance theater to vocal concerts to exhibitions. His subjects have ranged from the Berlin Wall to the Troubadours to Expressionist Film to the AIDS epidemic. His work has earned him two Bessie Awards, two Obie Awards, two NEA American Masterpiece Awards, a Cal/Arts Alpert Award in Dance/Performance, an American Choreographer Award, a Visual AIDS Vanguard Award, and the 2010 Ethyl Eichelberger Award.

Time No Line, performed at MASS MoCA as a solo work-in-progress performance, explores the hardships of life as a young, queer individual during the HIV/AIDS outbreak, the crippling fear of the disease, the struggle with loss, and the concept of loneliness. Inspired by Kelly’s journal entries from the ‘80s and ‘90s, his autobiographical performance is captivating, emotional, and real.

Catch John Kelly: Time No Line in MASS MoCA’s Club B10 on Saturday, October 22, at 8pm. Dinner and snacks are available from Lickety Split before the show. A full bar serves Bright Ideas Brewing beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $5 for members and students, $10 advance, $15 day of, and $21 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at massmoca.org.

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