John Kelly creates both solo and ensemble multi-media Dance Theatre works which include choreography, visual designs, film sections, and both solo and ensemble vocal work and song. As a choreographer and director he has received two Bessie (New York Dance andPerformance) Awards, two Obie Awards, an American Choreographer Award, a GuggenheimFellowship, the first Oscar Rubenhausen Fellowship (through the Greenwall Foundation), fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and five consecutive Choreographer Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
As a singer Mr. Kelly has studied at the Academia Musicale Ottorino Respighi in Assisi, Italy; he has performed three consecutive solo vocal recitals at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, including Her Tender Moment (1991), Arias I Love (1992), and I Want Your Myth (1993), as well as Far Cry From Bliss (1994) at St. Marks Church. As a Director of Opera, he directed a critically acclaimed production of Matthew Locke’s Baroque Masque Cupid and Death, at Opera at the Academy in 1993. He recently recorded two songs written especially for him, with music by Roy Nathanson and lyrics by David Cale, for the Jazz Passengers: In Love CD on the Wyndham Hill/High Street label. He has also appeared with the Jazz Passengers in concerts at Merkin Hall and the Knitting Factory. In May of 1996 he will make his official debut as a contemporary singer in a solo concert called 20th Century Vox: John Kelly in Concert as part of the spring concert series at St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights.
As a dancer and performer he has worked with the companies of Charles Weidman, JanWodynski, Paul Wilson, John Jesurun, Martha Clarke, and Ishmael Houston-Jones. He played leading roles in the European feature films Roberts Movie (Turkey) and Sublet (Spain), as well as in films by Simon Grome (Fake Fur Is Growing On Me), Barry Shields (Wigstock) and Anthony Chase (Revenge Of The Dearest and The Mona Lisa) He recently played a leading role along with Robert LaFosse of New York City Ballet in the film Central Park by director Ethan Silverman.
Mr. Kelly has recently revived his career as a visual artist (after a hiatus of 10 years), receiving residency fellowships from the Yaddo and the MacDowell Colonies, where he has embarked ona series of self-portraits based on the gallery of characters he has portrayed on stage. Inspired by a series of essays that he had written for Movement Research Journal, he is involved inanother long term project, a book containing photographs, drawings and essays which trace the development of John Kelly & Company and its myriad works.
During April and May of 1997 he will reside in Ljubjlana, Slovania, where he will direct an original chamber opera for the Glej Thatre. During the 1996/97 season 1996 John Kelly & Company will produce and present a re-working of Find My Way Home, a re-telling of the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, which is set in the Great Depression and the Roaring 20′s. This work, which includes sections from Gluck’s Baroque opera Orfeo Ed Eurydice, received a series of critically acclaimed workshop performances in 1988.