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Choreographer Joe Goode and the Magic Theater joined forces to develop a new work, challenging the separation between dance and theater and continuing Goode’s series “What the Body Knows,” an exploration of transformation, gender, and the body’s intuitive and instinctual knowledge.

The resulting piece, The Body Familiar, was Joe Goode’s first play, following his creation of many text-rich dances. Collaborating with the Magic Theatre and its then artistic director Larry Eilenberg, allowed Goode to expand the theatrical potential of his work with play development support from the Magic. Goode wrote and directed the work. The cast included three dancers from Goode’s company—Felipe Barrueto-Cabello, Marit Brook-Kothlow, Elizabeth Burritt—and three actors who have worked with the Magic in the past—Liam Vincent, Celia Shuman, and Mark Rafael Truitt. Part of the collaboration’s richness was their exchange of creative development processes.

Recognized nationally and internationally as an innovator in contemporary dance theatre, Joe Goode has been exploring the dynamic tension between language and movement for more than 20 years. His work has been widely recognized:  He received a prestigious National Dance Residency Program grant in 1995; and one of the first Irvine Fellowships in Dance in 1998. He has been recognized two Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (Izzies); and a New York “Bessie” award for Deeply There (stories of a neighborhood), a collaboration with composer Robin Holcomb.

Founded in 1967, the Magic Theater has premiered hundreds of new plays and championed new work by dozens of major and previously unknown playwrights, including Claire Chafee, Joseph Chaitkin, Nilo Cruz, David Mamet, John O’Keefe, Jose Rivera, Sam Shepard, and Paula Vogel.