Heather Kravas
overly merry

May 3-5, 2024
Friday at 7pm
Saturday at 2pm & 7pm
Sunday at 2pm

Performances will take place at The Chocolate Factory Theater, 38-33 24th Street, Long Island City.

View the show program.

Pouffy piles, wobbly stacks, loops, lists, gerunds, slaps, slips, crashes, splits, sobs, bad mother fuckers and shitty mommies.* Take that, and that, and that, and that, and that. “There is no such thing as repetition,” Gertrude Stein says. overly merry is a dance about itself and all the things leading up to it. It is about no + yes. It is about 143 minutes long. It is about sitting in a room and eating cookies. It is about patterns, surprises and accidents. And figuring it out later.

overly merry is a gift made for Mary Overlie** from this shore to the other. It asks her, “did you mean this?” Neither a response to Overlie’s pedagogy, nor an homage to the woman herself; overly merry is a springboard for a new kind of collective research and inquiry; a dance-based, post-happening. It responds to her work to launch the performers and audience more deeply into their own research and inquiry.

Composed of six discrete dances – or episodes – which unfold and accumulate in unpredictable constellations over the course of 2+ hours, Aretha, Cecilia and Heather walk and run, staging intricate and precarious trios within The Chocolate Factory’s peculiar architecture. They push, slither, traverse, recite, slide, press, repeat, listen, chart, leave, return, disappear, clatter, bumble, pull, eat, embrace, fail, love**. Fat stillnesses become quivering shapes. This trio persists. Many, many verbs are recited from long paper scrolls; an incantation. overly merry is an experiment in being together, with differences; in doing something so much that the tragedy becomes comedy, then tragedy again. It is a dance within a dance within a dance where the rugs get pulled out from under one thing and then another, again and again, Is it what we want? Is it what we mean? The show dissolves or crumbles or cuts to the long shot, back into itself, the snake swallowing its own tail.

overly merry is a dance by Heather Kravas made in collaboration with performers Aretha Aoki and Cecilia Eliceche, advisor Rebecca Brooks, and lighting designer Madeline Best. Featuring special guests, including TILT Brass, Lola Mahaney, Symone Sanz, and Jennifer Kjos, plus secret undercover dance agents.

*Tala Madani
**Mary Overlie (January 15, 1946 – June 5, 2020) was an American choreographer, dancer, theater artist, professor, author, and the originator of the Six Viewpoints technique for theater and dance. According to her own biography, she was “not afraid of obscurity”.
***Dayna Hanson