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ALDancers' The Rite of Spring requested to open Chicago Philharmonic Subscription Season 2013-14. Help us get there!
49 backers pledged $2,161 to help bring this project to life.

About

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May 29, 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of ‘The Rite of Spring’, featuring a revolutionary musical score by lgor Stravinsky and equally innovative choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky. In celebration, Agnieszka Laska Dancers (also celebrating it's 10th Anniversary Season) premiered a new version of THE RITE... by Agnieszka Laska with Portland State University Orchestra, June 7 and June 29th at the Astoria Music Festival.

After playing to enthusiastic sold-out crowds in Portland and Astoria, to critical acclaim (reviews below) ALD are looking forward to treating dance and music lovers in Chicago, on stage with the Chicago Philharmonic "One of the nation's finest symphonic orchestras"  (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune) at the opening concert of their 2013-14 Subscription Season: Sunday, September 29, 2013, 7:00 pm at Pick-Staiger Hall in Evanston.

On the same trip ALD will perform The Chopin Project with up-and-coming Polish pianist Igor Lipinski at Copernicus Center. 

The full budget for this trip is over $10,000. We're taking 10 dancers and our choreographer, staying in Chicago 3 nights, upgrading our costumes, creating more choreography for The Chopin Project performance, renting a studio for extra rehearsal time and paying dancers for their work. Chicago Philharmonic and Copernicus Center are picking up most of the tab - but to get back home in the black we need $2000 - that's why we need your help!

Details were confirmed just a few weeks ago: Chicago Philharmonic is the resident orchestra for Joffrey Ballet, known for reconstructing Nijinsky's original choreography. Joffrey was unavailable for that date, so we were asked instead -- a great honor for a small independent company, and another door opening for ALD, on our way to bigger and better stages down the road. With only a short time and previously scheduled performances every weekend in September - kickstarter is our only chance to pick up the slack. Thanks for for sticking with this shaggy dog story. If so moved, please help us make our goal!

YOUR CONTRIBUTION is Tax Deductible

Agnieszka Laska Dancers is a public benefit 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Our next step: touring this new work around our home state -- bringing communities around Oregon into the Centenary Celebration.

REVIEWS

“…Portland choreographer Agnieszka Laska, who like Diaghilev has never been afraid of controversy, has leapt to a new stage in her artistic development, creating a show which inventively combines distinctive elements of her choreographic repertoire with moves inspired by classic ballet and the landmark 1987 Joffrey Ballet “Rite” reconstruction (Vaslav Nijinsky’s original choreography has been largely lost). And then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, she tops it off with an unflinching gaze at the work’s barbaric denouement…”

Jeff Winslow, Oregon Arts Watch 

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“…Laska’s own choreography was dramatic and emotional, balanced between narrative and abstract, deeply engaging and captivating. At times I lost track of the story and lost myself completely in the swirling movement and energy onstage. The dancing was heartfelt and attacked the choreography with commitment and passion…”

Jamuna Chiarini, Oregon Arts Watch 

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“…Overall, the evening was simply brilliant. Everything worked, including the scanty costumes created by Rebecca Price. Add to that the piano music, the clever choreography and the enthusiasm of the dancers, the poise of the lead dancer, the eerie lighting and the bare staging. Complexity produced simplicity. It was raw, visceral. Memorable [...] And when the instigator of this riot was coaxed on stage to receive her traditional bouquet, the adulation would have made Nijinsky proud…”

Patrick Webb, The Daily Astorian

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“…Terrific dancing by Lauren Michelle Richmond as The Chosen One helped give this “Rite” a lasting impression…”

James Bash, Northwest Reverb

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VIDEO CREDITS:

The Rite of Spring Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

sacrificial dance - excerpt

PSU Symphony Orchestra, Ken Selden conducting
Agnieszka Laska Dancers, choreography by Agnieszka Laska
costumes by Rebecca Price; lighting by Agnieszka Laska

CAST
The Chosen One - Lauren Michelle Richmond
Opening solo - Sissy Dawson
The Sage - Heidi Nelson
The Women - Karissa Dean, Allie Fahsholz
The Young Maidens - Kelsey Adams, Sissy Dawson, Sharon Lane, Nikki Leopold, Amelia Unsicker
The Young Men - Niqi Cavanaugh, Gentry Fielder, Jonathan Garza, Jorge Ronzon*
The Girls - Natalie Cheechov, Sophie Marcus

* guest dancer by the courtesy of Contemporary Dance Production Center (CEPRODAC), Mexico.

premiered June 7, 2013

videography by MediaFX, audio recording North Pacific Music

The Rite of Spring creation was made possible by an RACC Special Opportunity Grant and several generous donors.

© Agnieszka Laska Dancers

STILL IMAGES: Chris Leck Photography

Risks and challenges

This project is quite a challenging. But, we are excited to take it on.

We have to adjust The Rite of Spring choreography to a small 5-dancer cast, and tougher yet, a 13' x19' stage; and, with a 100-piece orchestra right behind us. We have to revise old choreography for the Chopin Project, prepare some new dances and upgrade costumes.

While in Chicago we're giving 3 performances in 2 days, plus a press conference, rehearsals with the orchestra and pianist and an appearance on a Saturday morning prime-time TV show... we'll be VERY busy. We booked plane tickets with enough flexibility to allow for some flight delays.

This month prior to our Sept. 27 trip to Chicago, we perform every weekend. Please check http://aldancers.org/upcoming/ and join us if you can! Each show is with different repertory. So, we have to dedicate lots of extra rehearsal time to fulfill all commitments.

If we don’t meet our kickstarter goal? Well, all this extra work by dancers and myself (choreographer/director/manager) goes unpaid... :( ...or instead of rehearsals, we all focus on garage sales – we've done it before – that would certainly compromise the artistic quality of the shows (we could even get a bad review, yikes!) -- we know you won't let this happen to Oregon's Sept. 2013 Cultural Ambassadors to The Windy City!

Hey, what happens if we exceed our goal? That’s a problem we would love to face! All extra monies will be used to secure our Rite of Spring Centennial Tour – performances and outreach activities in rural communities across the country. We want to celebrate 100 years of THE RITE... with you, wherever you are. Just help us get there!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    you will receive love and good vibes from the artists and the great feeling that you are supporting live art by dedicated professional performers! + your name and a thank you on the ALDancers website: http://aldancers.org/

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    #1 + we will send you personal postcard from Chicago written and signed by company member.

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    #1 + ALD t-shirt from our past production Lamentatio. Disclaimer: only small and medium size available

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    #1 + we will send you personal postcard from Chicago signed by all dancers and choreographer + audio CD release of music by ALD Resident Composer, Jack Gabel, signed by Jack! http://www.jackgabel.com/

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    #1 & 2 + free dance class at In Motion Dance & Movement Studio, SE Portland. https://www.facebook.com/InMotionDanceStudio

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    #1 & 2 + you will get a DVD from our Rite of Spring performance.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    #1 & 2 + we will send you poster form our performance with Chicago Philharmonic signed by all dancers and choreographer!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    #1 #2 + ALD photo print of your choice from Resident Photographer Chris Leck's great ALD collection: check it here http://photostore.chrisleck.com/Dance/Agnieszka-Laska-Dancers

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    1-3 rewards + edited DVD from our The Rite of Spring performance with the special dedication to you only.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    1-4 rewards plus you will be invited for the last company rehearsal before we hit the road: Thursday September 26th at Polish Hall. Get the glimpse of what we will show at Pick-Staiger Hall and Copernicus Center, share the excitement of the dancers hours before we board the plane!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    1-4 rewards plus 2 ALDancers will show up at your private party to entertain your guests, you can't believe how multitalented they are! They dance, sing, play instruments! If more than 25 miles from Portland, Oregon — you provide transportation for dancer and props. Offer good for 1 year.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    1-4 rewards plus 1 private performance by Agnieszka Laska Dancers (from ALD repertory) at a location of your choice. If more than 25 miles from Portland, Oregon — you provide transportation for dancers and props. Offer good for 1 year.

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Funding period

- (21 days)