Crafted with disillusioned millennials in mind, this Valentine’s Day event is the love-fest-of-us for the rest of us! Raised on Disney fairytales and romantic comedies, this generation is both love-obsessed and noticeably love-averse, swiping for soulmates with a frequency that suggests compulsion while steadily delaying and foregoing the traditional romantic commitment of marriage. Cliches teach us that all we need is love, while also proclaiming that we can’t love anyone until we love ourselves (for the complete guide to loving yourself, please search Pinterest). LOVE & OTHER NONSENSE explores these paradoxical messages and more through comedy, dance, puppetry and opera.
Our cupid for the evening will be Kendra Dawsey, a queer black comedian whom The Hartford Courant claims “has a superpower. She can take any room and make it funny.” Peppering the evening with anecdotes of coming out, her biracial relationship, and mothering a cat, Dawsey weaves levity throughout an evening of works that both challenge and celebrate love of self, love of family, and love of partner.
Like red wine and steak, Dawsey’s humor is paired beautifully with a diverse tasting menu of performance art: dance works by Olivia Blaisdell, I.J. Chan, Audrey MacLean, and Peter DiMuro, Tony Guglietti & Kristin Wagner; opera staged and performed by Due Donne Productions; and puppetry by Honey Goodenough and The Gottabees. The works range from humorous to contemplative.Peter DiMuro rounds out the program with his solo, Dad’s Letter, and Laced Intention, performed by Tony Guglietti & Kristin Wagner. Each created in the 1990s, the works trace the nuanced bond of a straight father and gay son, and the remnants of love after a couple’s tragedy, respectively.
For most of human history, love was considered a distraction from the practical demands of survival. Marriage was an economic decision made with the intent to preserve and bolster communities of families. In the late 18th century, mankind entered the Age of Romanticism: people demanded a right to personal happiness, and they believed love to be a key factor. With the Age of Romanticism, we evolved as a species into welcoming the luxury of romantic love. Now, in the Age of Tinder, have we evolved beyond its inconveniences? The artists of LOVE & OTHER NONSENSE chronicle the history of love while exploring the nuances and complexities, joys and sorrows, and, of course, the pure nonsense of this overwhelmingly powerful emotion.
Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion (PDM) is under the fiscal sponsorship of The Dance Complex. Tax deductible donations can be made through The Dance Complex's website. Follow this link, and select Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion when making your donation.