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Join the radical concurrence of Turfing, Ballet, and Poetry in reviving the theater arts with innovation and diversity.
187 backers pledged $10,000 to help bring this project to life.

About

Mud Water: a Groundbreaking Street Dance Theater Experience project video thumbnail
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$10,000

187

"Mud Water" is a multidisciplinary dance theater project with a unique, diverse, and highly-skilled cast of Turfers and Ballet dancers. 

This project has been selected by the Dance Brigade’s Dance Mission Theater to be presented as part of the D.I.R.T., or Dance In Revolt(ing) Times, Festival and will premiere on January 30 and 31, 2016 in San Francisco, California. 

But in order to make this project possible, we need to raise enough funds to compensate twelve dancers for all time spent rehearsing and performing, and for travel expenses, as well as all collaborators (photographers, music and spoken word artists) who contribute their talents to this project. 

The project presents a juxtaposition of ballet and turfing, two dance forms that share in common a superhuman gracefulness despite having (seemingly) very different histories.
The project presents a juxtaposition of ballet and turfing, two dance forms that share in common a superhuman gracefulness despite having (seemingly) very different histories.

Utilizing acting and improvisational dance, while exploring real human emotions and life experiences, the project seeks to give the turf dance community opportunities to share its stories in a concert-style setting and to audiences often beyond its reach.

Turfing is an American urban social style of dance originating in Oakland, California, in the midst of gang violence, poverty, and a range of other social ills. The foundation of this style is based on various dances from different "turfs" of Oakland that came about in the 1990s up to the present. Emerging alongside the Hyphy movement (which also originated in Oakland), turfing has a playful side as is most popularly embodied in “going dumb," which means to completely “let it all go” on the dance floor. 

"[It] is a reaction to unemployment, to feeling abandoned, to feeling like there's no hope. You want to let it all go...” - Stanley Kirk Burrell (a.k.a. MC Hammer)
"[It] is a reaction to unemployment, to feeling abandoned, to feeling like there's no hope. You want to let it all go...” - Stanley Kirk Burrell (a.k.a. MC Hammer)

Aside from the carousing aspect of the dance, a significant part of turfing is storytelling through pantomiming and performing other optical illusions with the body and movement. Below is an excerpt from "Mud Water," danced by one of our cast.

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Despite the very different worlds in which Turfing and Ballet developed, both share several things in common: an incredible fluidity in movement, a similar aesthetic, and above all, 

a powerful and enduring life force that is incorruptible and irrepressible.

A nod to the Black Lives Matter movement, it is about a vivacity and beauty that transcends time and culture.
A nod to the Black Lives Matter movement, it is about a vivacity and beauty that transcends time and culture.

When seen together, it becomes apparent that such beauty, strength, and grace are not tied to any time period, social status/class, gender, race, or culture. In fact, it appears that from the deepest and darkest of places emerges such artistry at its fiercest. 

The title comes from the ancient symbol of the lotus flower as representing one who is following “the path.” The lotus grows in mud, deep under water where comparable life might suffocate. As it ascends and breaks surface, the flower remains pristine, unstained by the waters of experience, though still rooted in the mud from which it came.

None of this will be possible without you! In order to make my vision a reality, we need your help to raise $8,000 to compensate all artists working on this project. 

So far, we have managed to work our resources and garner a few in kind contributions, such as rehearsal space from the International Academy of WingChun. For our premiere, Dance Mission Theater will provide the stage, as well as all theater staff, lighting designers, lighting technicians and sound technician.  

If we can raise above the target amount, all proceeds will go towards future developments (i.e. additional showings or renditions) of the project.

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Let's Talk Rewards

$5 Tier: SPONSORSHIP CREDIT (Reward #1)

We would love to see your name on our site! Pledge $5 or more and we will add you to the great wall of sponsors! We hope someday that it gets to the point where it will seem to scroll forever. 

Pledge $5 or more and we will thank you on our website!
Pledge $5 or more and we will thank you on our website!

$15 Tier: EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL EP (Reward #2)

Pledge $15 or more and we will send you the audio file of an exclusive EP containing original tracks made for our project. All previous rewards included.

$25 Tier: LINK TO PRIVATE VIDEO (Reward #3)

Nothing beats the wondrous experience of watching our riveting premiere in person at a real theater ...except watching it in person AND THEN watching it again on video! Pledge $25 or more and unlock the secret link to watch the video of the complete, final performance of the project. All previous rewards included.

$50 Tier: DIGITAL MUD WATER ART BOOK (Reward #4)

Here is a snapshot of the Mud Water Art Book! Pledge $50 to receive a PDF version (or $100 to receive a printed version). All previous rewards included.

This beautifully designed book includes photographic documentation of our journey, interviews with the artists, original artwork, poetry, essays, and notes pertaining to the creative process, all carefully laid into PDF format.
This beautifully designed book includes photographic documentation of our journey, interviews with the artists, original artwork, poetry, essays, and notes pertaining to the creative process, all carefully laid into PDF format.

$75 Tier: DOWNLOADABLE DANCE FILMS (Reward #5)

The street and theater are two of our mediums, film is our other! Prepare to be bedazzled by our visually stunning and powerfully choreographed cinedance shorts, directed and filmed by the same people who brought you our kickstarter video! Pledge $75 or more and receive a 3 month subscription that will include downloadable dance videos, as well as a few dance instructionals and other surprises (e.g. behind the scenes footage, fun skits, and vlogs) from us. All previous rewards included.

$100 Tier: LIMITED EDITION PRINT OF ART BOOK (Reward #6)

The digital art book shall be reformatted as a magazine, on premium quality paper, and elegantly designed by the same people who designed the digital version of the book. If you love our aesthetics so far, you will love this printed book. Pledge $100 or more and we will gladly send you a hand-signed copy as a thank you. All previous rewards included. 

$175 Tier: 2 DANCE THEATER WORKSHOPS (Reward #7)

Ever tried dance theater? Pledge $175 or more and come take class with the director. Work on your creativity, confidence, and physical strength/fitness in a safe space with our workshops designed for both the greenest of beginners and the most experienced of dancers. One workshop will have an emphasis on mind and body awareness and include improv-based exercises for developing one's creativity; the other workshop will have an emphasis on hip hop dance, strength and fitness. The classes are transferable if you wish to gift somebody else with all of the fun. All previous rewards included (note that added shipping is for soft-cover book)

$250 Tier: PRIVATE SHOWING & PARTY (Reward #8)

Join us for some fancy Hors d'oeuvres and ask us questions about what you saw as a member of the first audience to view our project. Pledge $250 or more and we will invite you to a private showing, including Q&A with the cast and director, and light refreshments. All previous rewards included.

$300 Tier: VIP STATUS (Reward #9)

Same as the $250 tier reward but with VIP treatment! Pledge $300 or more and get the best seats at our private showing and a bag of exclusive, special, hand-made gifts!

$500 Tier: ULTRA SPECIAL EDITION GIFT PACKAGE (Reward #10)

Pledge $500 or more and your admission to our final showing is on us! You will also receive a DVD copy of our entire performance with extras; and a dazzlingly rare, hand-signed, extra-large, extra-glorious HARD-COVER edition of the Mud Water Art Book, great for your coffee table and makes for a decent conversation starter. All previous rewards included.

$1,000 Tier: PRODUCER CREDIT, MEETUP, & BEHIND THE SCENES (Reward #11)

Come see some of our rehearsals and then join us at the director's house for our end of the project banquet when you pledge $1,000 or more. Your name will also appear in our program as a producer. All previous rewards included.

 $1,200 Tier: YOUR VERY OWN GROUP DANCE VIDEO (Reward #12)

The grandest of rewards! LIMITED TO ONE SPECIAL BACKER ONLY. With the training I've received from the legendary, 1981 San Jose strutting and popping group, Playboyz Inc., I have the capabilities to turn you and your friends into a fresh looking dance crew in no time! Pledge $1,200 or more and we will teach a one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen, special-made-for-you dance routine to you and up to 5 of your friends, AND film and edit it into a professional quality music video for you to do whatever you will (share with your closest family and friends or broadcast to all of your social media peeps). All previous rewards included for backer only.

$2,000 Tier: COMPANY WORKSHOP (Reward #13)

Do you and your coworkers or employees spend a lot of hours everyday sitting at desks, staring at screens? Need a fresh and fun corporate team-building event to jumpstart the year? The next time your office manager plans another cooking class or scavenger hunt, suggest a theater arts and improv class instead! Pledge $2,000 or more and we will host a studio workshop for your office that focuses on undoing the physical and mental stress of office work, using techniques drawn from yoga, post-modern dance, hip hop, and improv theater. Note our studio space fits up to 40 students at a time, but we can split your company into two sessions for up to 80 people if necessary. Reward Nos. 1 through 6 included for the backer only.

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Risks and challenges

The greatest challenge and only risk will be creating in the face of uncertainty with respect to cast members. It is not so uncommon for things to come up and, consequently, for a dancer or two to drop out of the project. In such cases, I have the entire San Francisco Bay Area dance community to fall back on, and will continue to push forward in the creative process when things don't unfold as planned. Furthermore, my directorial style is inclined towards unique, improv-based dancers, which allows room for last minute changes.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    REWARD NO. 1: SPONSORSHIP CREDITS ---

    We will list your name as a sponsor on our website

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    REWARD NO. 2: EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL EP --

    We will send you the audio file of an exclusive EP containing original tracks made for our project. All previous rewards included.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    REWARD NO. 3: STREAM OUR FINAL PERFORMANCE ---

    We will send you a private link to documentation of the full performance

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    REWARD NO. 4: DIGITAL MUD WATER ART BOOK ---

    Receive a beautifully designed book that includes artistic high-quality photos of the project, interviews with the artists, original artwork, poetry, essays, and behind the scenes notes carefully laid into PDF format. All previous rewards included.

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    36 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    REWARD NO. 5: DOWNLOADABLE DANCE FILMS ---

    Receive a 3 month subscription for downloadable stunningly shot and choreographed short dance films, a few dance instructionals, and other surprises (e.g. behind the scenes footage, fun skits, and vlogs) from us. All previous rewards included.

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    5 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    REWARD NO. 6: LIMITED EDITION PRINT OF ART BOOK ---

    For your delight, we will mail you an elegant, deluxe magazine version of the Mud Water Art Book, hand-signed by the director and cast. All previous rewards included.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    15 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    REWARD NO. 7: TWO DANCE THEATER WORKSHOPS ---

    We will offer you two (in person or online) dance theater workshops (transferable) taught by the director and at least one of our own cast. One workshop will have an emphasis on mind and body awareness and include improv-based exercises for developing one's creativity; the other workshop will have an emphasis on hip hop dance, strength and fitness. All previous rewards included (note that added shipping is for soft-cover book).

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    REWARD NO. 8: PRIVATE SHOWING & PARTY ---

    We will invite you +1 to a private showing, including Q&A with the cast and director (and fancy Hors d'oeuvres!). All previous rewards included.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    REWARD NO. 9: PRIVATE SHOWING & PARTY (VIP STATUS) ---

    Receive VIP treatment at our private showing, which includes premium seating, and gifts. All previous rewards included.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    REWARD NO. 10: ULTRA SPECIAL EDITION GIFT PACKAGE ---

    Your admission to our final showing is on us! You will also receive a DVD copy of our entire performance with extras; and a dazzlingly rare, hand-signed, extra-large, extra-glorious HARD-COVER edition of the Mud Water Art Book, great for your coffee table and makes for a decent conversation starter. All previous rewards included.

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

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

    REWARD NO. 11: PRODUCER CREDIT, MEETUP, & BEHIND THE SCENES ---

    Come see some of our rehearsals and then join us at the director's house for our end of the project banquet. Your name will also appear in our program as a producer. All previous rewards included.

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    REWARD NO. 12: YOUR VERY OWN GROUP DANCE VIDEO ---

    We will teach a one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen, special-made-for-you dance routine to you and up to 5 of your friends, and then film and edit it into a professional quality music video for you to do whatever you will (share with your closest family and friends or broadcast to all of your social media peeps). All previous rewards included for the backer only.

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    REWARD NO. 13: COMPANY WORKSHOP ---

    We will host at our rehearsal space in Berkeley, CA, a studio workshop for your company or organization that focuses on team-building and on undoing the physical and mental stress of the office life. Using techniques drawn from yoga, post-modern dance (release technique), hip hop, and improv theater, we will jumpstart the year with something fun and fresh for you and your coworkers. Note our rehearsal space fits up to 40 students at a time. We can break up the workshop into two sessions for up to 80 coworkers/employees. Reward Nos. 1 through 6 included for the backer only.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)