The Center At West Park & Linked Dance Theatre Present BELOVED/DEPARTED, April 26 – May 18

Maya Gonzalez
Maya Gonzalez

The Center at West Park and Linked Dance Theatre is presenting the Off-Off-Broadway debut of Beloved/Departed at The Center at West Park (located at 165 West 86th Street, at Amsterdam Avenue), Thursday, April 26th – May 18th.

Beloved/Departed is a modern, immersive reimagining of the Greek tragedy Orpheus and Eurydice featuring movement-based storytelling and original music. Audiences are invited by the host Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, and the bride and groom to attend this celestial wedding, where they will celebrate with other guests, divine creatures, and ultimately tackle the timeless question – is love enough?

The intimate setting of Beloved/Departed will keep audiences to less than 40 people, giving everyone a unique perspective of the festivities and allow them to be completely engaged in the wedding celebrations.

An exciting theatrical event, drawing on Linked Dance Theatre’s experience in the immersive realm, Beloved/Departed features original movement and text created by the company. The production will feature lighting & scenic design by Cheyenne Sykes, costume design by Nicholas Smith, original music composed by Brendan Littlefield, stage management by Cati Pishal, and direction by Jordan Chlapecka (Co-Artistic Director of Linked Dance Theatre).

Beloved/Departed will star Josh James as Orpheus, Kendra Slack (Co-Artistic Director of Linked Dance Theatre) as Eurydice, Kellyn Thornburg as Artemis, Calvin Tsang as Apollo, Maya Gonzalez as Hermes, Nick Kepley as Hades, Chloe Markewich as Persephone, Rita McCann as Aphrodite, Matt Engle as Charon/Hymen, and Oliver “Tillett” Burke as The Muse.

“Our version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice aims to give a perspective on jumping into things too fast,” says Jordan Chlapecka and Kendra Slack, Co-Artistic Directors of Linked Dance Theatre. “Weddings are a particular ritual where everything is called into question, and your past can come to haunt you at a family gathering, and begs a greater question of self, the myths we make, and the age old question ‘is love enough to conquer death?’ As a company, Linked Dance Theatre is inspired by the spaces around them. They think of the spaces they find as a characters in the shows they create, so the residency at The Center at West Park presented the ideal opportunity to explore this story and invite everyone to an otherworldly wedding.

Performances of Beloved/Departed will take place at The Center at West Park (165 West 86th Street, at Amsterdam Avenue) from April 26 through May 18, 2018, according to the following schedule: Thursday, April 26, Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28 at 7:30pm; then Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30pm; and one additional performance on Saturday, May 12 at 3:00pm.

Tickets, ranging from $45 for General Admission and up to $75 for Premium tickets that allow audience members the chance to be part of the wedding party and engage with the performers, are available for purchase online from www.linkeddancetheatre.com/beloved/departed.

General Admission tickets grant patrons entrance into the wedding as a guest of Orpheus or Eurydice. Premium “Bridesmaid and Groomsman” tickets give patrons the opportunity to step into the role of an actual bridesmaid or groomsmen, giving more intimate access to the “bride and groom.” With only 4 premium tickets available per performance (2 bridesmaid tickets & 2 groomsmen tickets), audiences are welcome to choose either designation, no matter what their gender identity is.

Beloved/Departed is an immersive experience that lasts approximately 2 hours. Patrons must be able to stand and/or walk for the duration of the performance, including up and down stairs. The wedding will begin promptly at 8pm; late admittance is up to the discretion of our front of house staff. Be advised that haze and laser effects will be used in this experience. Please notify our front of house upon arrival if you think this will be an issue for you. Dressing for the occasion is highly encouraged – think, semi-formal relaxed spring wedding but comfortable footwear is advised. Food and beverage will be served/available at different points throughout the night. If you have serious food allergies or do not wish to consume alcohol, we suggest you politely decline any offers of snacks or drinks. There will also be a free, mandatory coat and bag check at the start of the experience.

Jordan Chlapecka & Kendra Slack (Co-Artistic Directors of Linked Dance Theatre) are both New York based artists. Jordan received his master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University and earned bachelor’s degrees in Advertising and Anthropology from Southern Methodist University. He’s performed pieces ranging from art activism with Jesusa Rodríguez in Chiapas, Mexico to a reimagining of Erik Satie’s Parade with Richard Move at Yale. Kendra studied acting at Ithaca College and Circle in the Square Theatre School. From 2013-2014 she was a performer at The McKittrick Hotel as a company member with Punchdrunk and original cast member of The Heath. Her choreography has been featured in the NY Fringe Festival, The Choreographer’s Canvas, and in the Big Range Austin Dance Festival in Austin, TX. Through their collaborations which began in 2014, they created Linked Dance Theatre, a company that strives to tell stories through movement, text, music and everything related to the body. A collaborative company that makes movement that fits its movers’ bodies, Linked maintains that how you tell the story is most important.

ABOUT LINKED DANCE THEATRELinked Dance Theatre makes stories come to life through movement, text, music and everything related to the body. We believe that motions inspire emotions which lead our collaborative creative process, and out of our practice comes staged and immersive works that merge the worlds of theatre and dance by telling stories through movement, and subvert the conventional norms of what theatre or dance should or should not be. We use space to inspire the work and collaborate with our dancers to make each piece a truly unique reflection of the world around us.

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