Charles Dennis is an award winning interdisciplinary artist, director/producer, video cameraman/editor, teaching artist and proprietor of Charles Dennis Productions, a company that produces and distributes digital media content for artists and business clients. He also creates short films that explore the creative possibilities of digital video art. Dennis began his career in the arts when he joined theater director Robert Wilson’s company the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds in 1971. He went on to perform in many legendary early Wilson works including, Deafman Glance, and the original production of Einstein on the Beach.
Dennis began creating his own form of “physical theater” in 1977. Two years later Dennis co-founded Performance Space 122, one of this country’s most active presenters of new dance and performance. He co-directed the space for three years and was deeply involved with the organization for twenty-five years both as a performing artist and as a board member. He created and performed numerous solo and large group community-oriented performances at P.S. 122 and other venues from 1980-2000. His 1999 solo Mr. Remote also toured nationally and was praised by the New York Times…. “Closer to club art than art video the piece has the dynamic energy of dance itself, a rare thing in videodance. Dennis received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art for his interdisciplinary performances.
In 1994 he began to document the downtown dance performance scene on video and to explore the use of video in live performance… He went on to produce a public access television show, Alive & Kicking – New Directions in Dance and Performance which aired for four years on Manhattan Neighborhood Network before being picked for distribution to educational institutions by Insight Media, Inc. and Alexander Press, LTD. Near one hundred programs have been produced to date in the Alive & Kicking series. Each program showcases an individual choreographer, company or performance artist.
In 1999 Dennis received a UCLA National Dance Media Fellowship award. Shortly afterwards he received funding from the National Initiative to Preserve American Dance (NIPAD) and the Pew Charitable Trust to make his first full length documentary film Homecoming – Celebrating 20Years of Dance at P.S. 122, a documentary that chronicles the origins of the space and showcases ten leading choreographers whose careers were launched at P.S. 122.
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