“This entertaining and lighthearted drama cleverly comments on a
very harsh reality, that being, funding for the arts, in the USA…”
— C.A. Dobush,

Felice Lesser’s satire, FUNDING THE ARTS, a spy spoof about the lack of funding for the arts in this country, was premiered during her company’s 35th Anniversary Season, May 12-16, 2010 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City. The work featured live dance, a full-length script, and projected video/computer animation, all by Lesser, who also choreographed and directed. The work was set to music from “Coppélia” and “Swan Lake,” featured lighting by Christina Giannelli, and costumes by A. Christina Giannini.

The plot of FUNDING THE ARTS concerns a few rogue ex-CIA agents (and their KGB counterparts, now bound in a common venture), who overthrow governments around the world, rob their treasuries, and use the booty to support their first love — their ballet company. But when they return to the U.S. in the post 9/11 world, they find they are totally unprepared for the realities of running a non-profit arts organization. Out of money, they look for a way to keep the company afloat, while trying to bring down their arch-enemy and save the world (not to mention dance as an art form), as an apathetic public stays home and surfs the internet.

FLDT cast some of the roles with NYC choreographers, dancers, and former dancers — reaching beyond the company to draw more attention to the lack of funding for the entire dance community. In addition to the performances, educational “Meet the Artist” events were held, and an ongoing “backstage-look” at the creation of the work is still featured on the BLOG of, the company’s website.

(Photo credit: © 2010 Gerry Goodstein. Video credit: © 2010 Felice Lesser)