We have an amazing opportunity for our friends, family, fans and loved ones to support the world premiere of a multidisciplinary theater, music and dance piece, but we need some help! Visit http://counterpulse.org/performing-diaspora/artists/adia-tamar-whitaker/ to check out our blogs and become a part of the creative process.
In 2007, dancer/choreographer Adia Tamar Whitaker received a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant to study the Dahomean roots of Afro-Haitian folklore with the Ewe migrant population in Ghana, West Africa. She was there for 53 days. Although she reached her objective and completed the beginning of her studies in Africa, there were greater lessons for her to learn. While in Ghana, she wrote a series of internet report backs for her friends, family and funders called "The Ghana Blogs". After she returned to the U.S., she was commissioned by Counterpulse (an arts incubation organization in San Francisco), the Zellerbach Foundation and Theater Bay Area, to transform "The Ghana Blogs" into a multidisciplinary theater, music and dance piece called "Ampey!"
"Ampey!” explores the spiritual, emotional and physical disconnect between African-Americans and Continental Africans. In Ghana, it's a rhythmic competition game that little girls play. The game happens in rounds with two players. One person is the leader. Both players jump and land on a set rhythm. The leader tries to trick their opponent with fancy footwork while the opponent tries to anticipate and match the footwork of the leader. Whoever wins the most rounds wins the game. In the context of the piece that's performed on stage, Ghana, or a version of the Continental African perspective is one player and the performers, or versions of the African-American perspective, are the other. Breaking open the paradigms that each culture grasps onto in regards to identity, gender and social constructs, “Ampey!” addresses the art of missing, meeting and misunderstanding in the human experience.
A twenty minute work in progress version of "Ampey!" premiered in four evenings of the 2009 Counterpulse Performing Diaspora Festival in San Francisco. It was a huge success. This year, Counterpulse invited Adia back to expand "Ampey!" into an evening length production. Unfortunately, and not for lack of trying, Adia didn't received any additional funding outside of her commission from Counterpulse. The mission of our Kickstarter campaign is to create financial stability for the artists to realize the full vision and create a future for Adia's project. Our page will be up until Sunday December 12, 2010 to ensure that we surpass our monetary goal.
We are raising funds to assist with the artist fees and production costs of expanding "Ampey!" into an evening length work. "Ampey!" will premiere in the 2010 Counterpulse Performing Diaspora Festival. We will also do street performances and fundraising events in September and October to promote our work. These require money as well. Featuring performances by six phenomenal dancers/vocalists and two amazing musicians from the bay area and Brooklyn, the world premiere of "Ampey!" will take place November 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 2010.
Here's what we've accomplished;
Our review in the S.F. Bay Guardian, http://www.sfbg.com/2010/11/16/return-me
We're also in the December 2010 (The Power Issue) of San Francisco Magazine, Page 43!
- (90 days)