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Commission a Solo from Deborah Hay for Shannon's video poster

I'm looking for patrons to support a new solo work by Deborah Hay that I will learn, adapt and perform as part of the SPCP program. Read more

pledged of $2,600 goal
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This project was successfully funded on March 31, 2012.

I'm looking for patrons to support a new solo work by Deborah Hay that I will learn, adapt and perform as part of the SPCP program.

About this project

I’m seeking patrons to support a new work by Deborah Hay that I will learn, adapt, and perform as part of the  Solo Performance Commissioning Project in Findhorn, Scotland this fall.  The funds I'm raising pay Hay a commissioning fee and to partially cover the cost of getting myself to Scotland to be in residence with her for 11 days.

After 2012, Hay will take a sabbatical form the SPCP program, making it especially critical for me to take advantage of the opportunity to work with her

All Kickstarter pledgees will be considered patrons of the work and thanked in all program materials.

Can I raise more than $2,600?  Heck yeah.  The total cost of me undertaking this project (airfare, room and board, three months of rehearsal space and finally producing a performance) is $10,000.  I plan to take a very minimal and resourceful approach and am seeking other sources of funding, residencies and trades as well.  Each extra dollar raised means an extra minute in the studio. 


Deborah Hay's Solo Performance Commissioning Project is a program that was developed in the Pacific Northwest and originally conducted on Whidbey Island from 1998-2002.  The program currently takes place abroad and attracts participants from all over the world.  It includes an application and fundraising period, an 11-day residency with Hay in Findhorn, Scotland, a three-month gestation period in the dancer’s home city and finally culminates in public performances and programs. 

Over the course of 11 days, I will be one of a handful of participants in residence with Hay as she creates a solo for each of us to adapt and eventually perform. 

After leaving Scotland, participants commit to performing the solo for themselves (rehearsing it) for three months before the work can be viewed by an audience.  During this time, participants are making their own adaptation of the original choreography. 


To embark on the journey of Deborah Hay’s SPCP is to make a new level of commitment to the practice of dancemaking and performing--one that I’m eager to make.  After performing and touring for the last decade and more recently embarking on my own choreographic journey, I’m looking to dive deeper, to find a new current to follow in the evolution of my artistry.

 Many people whom I look up to in my own community and beyond have participated in this program and have deeply moved me with their performances of solos that Hay created for them as well as with how they have taken the tools they learned from Hay and applied it to their own work. 

 As stated above, after 2012, Deborah Hay will take a sabbatical from the Solo Performance Commissioning Project, making it especially important that I do whatever it takes to get myself to Scotland.

 The commissioning fee is £1100 or approximately $1700 and plane tickets to get there are about the same price.  My Kickstarter goal covers the commissioning fee and half of the cost of getting there. 

Part of participating in the Solo Performance Commissioning Project is asking your community to support your attendance, to in effect commission Hay to make the solo for you, so I’m coming to my community now of friends, family, dancers, musicians, artists, educators, organizers and asking for you to support this important development in my lifetime commitment to dance.

Thank you for your consideration.

Video Notes: Thanks to John Niekrasz for the live drums.  This is quick collage of the "a dance a day" practice I did while having studio space at the mOuth in Portland, where I tried to make something new every day for six weeks.  Nothing extraordinary except the act of going in every day (and having the space to do it).  Thanks to Allie for inspiration.


  • The trajectory of Deborah Hay as a dance artist is that of a radical free thinker operating within the often aesthetically restricted, convention-dominated medium of performing dance. Her role as a critical voice in the Judson Church era of post modern dance is as much about working with pedestrian movement and simple spatial patterns as it is about discipline, rigor, and is rooted in her technical dance background and strongly influenced by working with Merce Cunningham and John Cage.

    At every step of the way, Hay has questioned her engagement and output in dance making, making enigmatic solos as well as large group works performed for no audiences while honing a practice of working inquisitively with her body and mind simultaneously.

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  • The attraction to working with her is not about creating concept pieces challenging dominant ideologies in dance (though this is what I appreciate so much about her role in history) as it is to study her internal practice of dancemaking and performing. To learn a process with which I can mine more deeply my own underlying motivations and desires in my work, performances, and collaborations.

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  • I’ve known about Hay’s work since studying contemporary dance in college and have always known it was something that would take a while to grow into understanding and appreciating. While living in San Francisco between 2006-2009, I knew that Hay was working in the Pacific Northwest and was sad to miss out on the opportunity to take her workshop and classes. Her work Mountain, with three solos by Amelia Reeber, Peggy Piacenza, and Galen Hanson toured to San Francisco and in some ways, I feel like watching it forever changed me. I felt a deep connection to the language, albeit a lack of fluency. This was where my desire to work with her began to grow. I applied to the Solo Performance Commissioning Project in 2010 and could not get in until 2011, when I had to defer because of a performance contract. Simultaneously, I met, witnessed and was more inspired by Mary Margaret Moore, Linda Austin, Tahni Holt, and Meg McHutchinson, all artists who worked with Hay and have encouraged me to take this step.

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  • My first dance class was a hula/tap/gymnastics class for pre-schoolers in a little studio in Richland, Washington. I’m fortunate that my parents had the resources to send me to dance almost everyday of my childhood, though the toll of growing up as a girl in the world of ballet was costly in other ways. In high school, I took a break from ballet and classical forms of dance and in college I came back to dancing nearly everyday, however, I made a pact that I would dance without performing. I needed to find a way to make dancing an act of kindness to myself instead of an opportunity to be critical or abusive to myself. I performed my senior year of college after a 5-year break and have since slowly, somewhat painstakingly built-back the means by which I engage in dance performance.

    During that time I have danced with and contributed to the work of (chronologically):

    ARC Dance

    Deborah Birrane

    Holly Eckert

    Cheronne Wong

    Amii Legendre

    Ricki Mason (LAUNCH)

    Kathleen Hermesdorf (MotionLab/Alternativa)

    Aiko Kinoshita

    Zoe Scofield (zoe|juniper)

    Paige Barnes

    Dayna Hanson

    Beth Graczyk (salt horse)

    Corrie Befort (salt horse)

    Angelina Baldoz (salt horse)

    Angelle Herbert (tEETh)

    And my own work

    Many others have mentored, taught, and shaped my ever-evolving engagement and commitment to dance.

    Aside from training and teaching on the West Coast, I travel regularly to New York and Europe to study and broaden my training experience. The last trips to New York in October, November and December involved as many Cunningham classes as I could cram in with trips to the Lincoln Center Library to watch archives of Hay’s work.

    Though I’ve studied everything from QiGong to Breakdancing, my current practice involves yoga, Gyrokinesis®, Gyrotonic®, ballet & modern technique, improvisation, meditation, and dialogue.

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    Pledge $10 or more

    20 backers

    A rehearsal dedicated to you.

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    15 backers

    Handmade thank you card

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    10 backers

    Postcard from Scotland!

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    All of the above + Writing excerpts from my documentation of the program.

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    4 backers

    All of the above + invitation to coffee/tea where I will report back on my experience.

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    Work in progress viewing of the work (AFTER I have rehearsed it five days a week for three months, as per program guidelines)

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    Solo performance for solo audience member when the piece has been fully adapted.

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Funding period

- (30 days)