Gibney Presents: Johnnie Cruise Mercer, The Decade from Hell . . .

Jun 15, 2023, 8:00 pm EDT

Event Series (See All)



The Decade from Hell …
World Premiere

Performances run June 15-17, 8:00 PM EST


In its controversial 2009 article, Time Magazine called the first ten years of the 21st Century the “worst decade ever.” In response to that article, Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer and queer-black think-maker Johnnie Cruise Mercer leads a new project titled, The Decade from Hell … The devised movement theater work is structured as a live-studio audience recording that uses the nostalgia of the early 2000’s as a jumping-off point. The work features a cast of Millennial and GenZ BIPOC artists, including Alicia Dellimore, Brooker Rucker, Paulina Meneses, Alicia Morales, and Bria Bacon. With visual/film direction by Torian Ugworji, lighting design by Vamir, and a sound score composed by The IAMI Collective, the performers guide the audience through an immersive shedding ritual through memory, on empathy, and towards consciously, yet collectively, letting go.

Each night offers a totally unique experience. SEE MORE AND SAVE!
Two nights for $45 or all three for $65*

*A limited number of discounted packages are available. Click Buy Tickets above to access the deal.

Thursday, June 15: The Seed

The audience is invited to witness a concert-ritual; the players call upon the power of their movement foundations. This night features an originally composed Drum Solo by Isaiah Jones.


Friday, June 16: The Womb

The evening plays out as an action-packed film shoot! The camera follows the players as they embrace each other, moving, tumbling, and eventually flying into what they consider their inner hues.

Pre-Show Conversation in Studio Y at 7:30 PM

Audience members are invited to take part in a conversation on the past and its influence on each generation.


Saturday, June 17: The Out-Coming

In a truly immersive experience, the players ask the audience to participate, shepherding everyone through what it could possibly feel like to become a butterfly.

Pre-Show Activities in The Gallery (second floor) at 7:15 PM

This performance includes activities built to reflect on memories from the early 2000’s, including karaoke, coloring, a reality TV-style interview, and tag! No sign-up necessary. Simply come as you are!



The Decade from Hell . . .  was commissioned by Gibney and curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa as part of the 2022-2023 Season. This commission included financial, residency, administrative, and production support. This work is also directly supported by The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and Mellon Foundation.



Produced by TheREDprojectNYC
Choreographer/Director: Johnnie Cruise Mercer
Creative/Visual Director: Torian Ugworji
Featured Artists: Alicia Dellimore, Brooke Rucker, Paulina Meneses, Alicia Morales, and Bria Bacon
Lighting Design: Vamir
Devised Sound Score: The IAMI Collective


Johnnie Cruise Mercer, a 2022 Dance Magazine Harkness Promise Award Recipient, and a 2021 Princess Grace Award Recipient (Choreography), is a queer-black think-maker; a choreographer, an educator, and producer based in Brooklyn, New York. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Johnnie holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University.

In 2021, Johnnie was nominated for two Bessies Awards in Dance and Performance: Outstanding Breakout Choreographer, and Outstanding Production for AShadowPrince (a collaboratively created media-choreography crafted in response to the murder of George Floyd in 2020).

Johnnie’s choreographic work has been seen and/or shared by 92Y Harkness Dance Center, The Dixon Place, Danspace Project Inc, The Fusebox Festival, BAAD!, Abrons Arts Center, La Mama Experimental Theater, The Clarice Performing Arts Center’s The BlackLight Summit, and at The American Dance Festival. Most recently, Johnnie has had the honor of being a 2019-2021 Artist in Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a 2020-2021 Ping Chong and Company Creative Fellow,  a 2020-2021 AIR through New Dance Alliance’s Black Artists Space to Create Residency, and a 2022 Artist in Residence at Center for Performance Research.

Johnnie is the founding producer and director of TheREDprojectNYC (TRPNYC), a multidisciplinary ensemble of artists dedicated to movement philosophy, and its use towards building communal spaces for black/other process, documentation, and investigation.



COVID-19 Safety Policies at Gibney Center

Masks are recommended for audience members attending live performances at Gibney Center. Proof of vaccination is no longer required. Nonetheless, Gibney encourages all who are eligible to maintain up-to-date vaccination status in accordance with CDC Guidelines.

Photo by Torian Ugworji