The original young dance collective (YDC) was founded in 2001 by then artistic director Kim Cullen and the first generation members.
In 2016, founding YDC member, Hannah Cullen launched cullen+them to foster active and compassionate exchange through dialogue, artmaking and performance. At that time, YDC became part of cullen+them while retaining it's identity as a professional performing group of young artists. cullen+them is now, one company with two ensembles.
Under the direction of Hannah Cullen these ensembles make multidisciplinary performance art that is grounded in the mediums of movement and spoken word. Their work is a call to action for both the audience and the performers. Their confidence that art has the ability to create and inform social discourse is what drives the process. It involves fully incorporating the performer’s personal beliefs and stories resulting in an intimate and unique experience. With Hannah, they use storytelling to offer perspectives on issues of gender, race, and other aspects of identity used to construct systems that foster inequality. The personal is political. Through theater making, they question and uproot fears that impede movement towards an equitable society and create impactful change.
Mark it in Pencil
In Mark it in Pencil cullen+them's two ensembles developed work separately and together, collaborating on themes that express their thoughts and feelings about their lives and the world around them.
On Wednesday, March 14 at 7pm cullen+them opens Mark it in Pencil which will be followed by their first ever gala the, +Award, honoring Amy Richards. Mark it in Pencil continues to run through Saturday March 17th with shows at 7:30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Starting with conflict, Mark it in Pencil, aims to outline pathways toward resolution. The work reminds us that we are capable of leveraging our own being, that our view of the "other" doesn’t have to be rigid and that communication can be grounded in listening. When we allow ourselves to write in pencil, we forego a permanence and give ourselves permission to erase and start over again.
We invite you to join us as cullen+them comes together for an evening of inter-generational, collaborative performance at:
New York Live Arts 219 W 19th Street New York, NY 10011 (between 7th & 8th Aves)
Please join us in support of this endeavor!
Your donation toward Mark it in Pencil funds the following:
- Rehearsal Space
- Theater Rental
- Sound Design
- Lighting Design
young dance collective members:
cullen+them company members:
Mark it in Pencil Production Team:
Original Composition and Sound Design: Shirish Sarkar
Lighting Design: Christopher Theilking
Set Design: Sophia Orlow
Production Management: popboompow/David Taylor
Photos and Video: Em Watson
Risks and challenges
This year marks the first full year that Hannah Cullen has been the Artistic Director of this entire organization and this is the first time that we are bringing what are now cullen+them's two ensembles, the adults and young people's companies, together in one performance. As we do this, we are striving to make sure that it's clear that the young performers continue to create their own material and write their own text under Hannah's direction and, at the same time, we want that to seamlessly integrate with the material that Hannah has created on and with the adult company members. This is both a risk and a challenge.
And, as all this creative work has been happening, we have had one of the young dance collective members head to boarding school and we continue to have real life challenges around illness in our cullen+them family.
Throughout it all, we have stayed close, strong and resilient. We have had numerous conversations about our subject matter to create content and to stay true to our process as we push forward. Seeing this process to the finish line is a challenge that will be a major accomplishment!
Finally, four shows in the New York Live Arts theater means we have nearly 800 seats to fill, something we have never done before. AND we are hosting our first ever Gala Event, the +Award Gala, on opening night. Wow!
We trust all of our supporters will help us meet our goals. Thank you so much for being part of the cullen+them/YDC family, we would not feel ready to take these risks and meet these challenges without you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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