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Artist Statement

I am an interdisciplinary artist using theater, performance art, anecdotal testimony and movement to interrogate issues surrounding sexuality, gender expression, homophobia and power dynamics. Through my creative research,  I knit together formal and conceptual ideas such as canons (a kind of melodic imitation or echoing), mirroring and delay, and choreographic underscoring. This choreographic practice reveals tension and overlap between deep embodiment and performative formalism, between the conceptual and the actual. I actively cross-reference these concepts while layering a range of emotional experiences, from the tragic to the comic. My hyper-physical approach to generating movement is regularly juxtaposed with original text, ranging from hyperbolic prose, choral chants, and naturalistic dialogue.  This blurring of genre and a deliberate predelication to tragicomedy allows for malleability in my work that is crucial to my creative process. This tension between fantasy and realism also builds a level of trust between performers and audiences, allowing for both provocation and pleasure.

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Brendan Drake is an interdisciplinary artist and teacher who uses theatricality, satire and disparate movement forms to interrogate issues surrounding gender, vanity and queer power dynamics. His current creative research focuses on analyzing the psychological understandings of how fantasy, performed confidence and worship within queer spaces concurrently help and hinder the development of those social communities.

Brendan has been awarded grants and residencies through the Brooklyn Arts Fund, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, CUNY Dance Initiative, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Mana Contemporary, Silo Barn, The Tank and Joe's Pub. He was a 2017-2018 Fresh Tracks Artist at New York Live Arts (formerly Dance Theater Workshop) and most recently, an artist in residence at Chez Bushwick (Brooklyn, NY)

His work has been presented at Danspace Project, The Brick, HERE, La MaMa, New York Live Arts, Gowanus Loft, Industry City Distillery, Joe’s Pub, Museum for the Moving Image, The Wild Project, Triskelion Arts, Chez Bushwick, Movement Research and The Dance Complex (Boston, MA). In addition to his work for the stage, Brendan choreographed the fall 2014 “Equality = Love'' campaign for Adidas Originals/Pharrell Williams. He has also served as movement coordinator on editorial shoots for Vogue, Porter, V and Elle Magazines (photographers: Liz Collins, Ryan McGinley, Collier Schorr). Brendan co-curated with Dance and Media Artist Kate Ladenheim the digital performance series “19 Acts of COVID-19 Bravery” which was an online exhibition of works, created in isolation, responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic. He has had the pleasure of guest teaching at Columbia University, University of Massachusetts, Muhlenberg College, Gibney, Freeskewl and Ball State University. He was also named a 2016 “Artist to Watch'' in Dance Europe Magazine. Brendan received his BFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst 

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