Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts
June 3rd and 4th, 2018
What has five performers, three herding dogs, a flock of sheep, and hay bale seating? Doggie Hamlet! This outdoor performance weaves dance, music, visual, and theatrical elements with aspects of competitive sheep herding trials. A work that “defies categorization” (Center for the Art of Performance), this Philadelphia premiere explores sentiments such as instinct, sentience, attachment, and loss.
The 70-minute production, which unfolds at dusk, lives in both the symbolic and the real world. Doggie Hamlet recalls the bucolic impression of a landscape painting or a 3D pastoral poem. The sheep, the dogs, the human performers, and the earth's surface are at once performing as themselves and as living symbols in this work and asks us relevant questions of our time: What does it mean to follow? What is instinct, and how does that differ from a reaction?
The presentation of Doggie Hamlet was made possible by the new England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.