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An evening-length dance piece inspired by my journey as a breast cancer survivor.
An evening-length dance piece inspired by my journey as a breast cancer survivor.
67 backers pledged $4,891 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$4,891

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My life changed forever on January 8th, 2010. I was on my lunch break at work when I received a call informing me that I had breast cancer. Since that day, I walk around in the world disguised as Sharon. The eyes I see with belong to someone I do not know, and my body is a foreign puzzle with missing pieces. Every day I am newly surprised by the decimation of what my life once was. Nine months, two surgeries, 16 chemotherapy treatments, and one broken heart later, I am now ready to make sense of this journey.

My vision is to choreograph an evening-length dance piece that transforms the way we think about change in our lives. In the past months I have struggled with the fact that there is no such thing as certainty, and that death is a tangible and inescapable presence. There are times I am successful in coming to terms with this truth, and I find joy through groundlessness—letting go and surrendering. There are other times, however, when I hold on too tightly, refusing to pry my fingers open lest I transition, floating, into nothingness.

The sound of shattering glass penetrates the darkness. Lights fade up on a female form jailed within a small space: reaching, unfurling. A young girl sleeps next to a mother, peeling away every now and then to dance. Projections of rolling dice flicker upon a large white cube. Three women peer into mirrors, grieving for what is about to happen to their bodies and their spirits. A man’s voice dispassionately explains Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Brightly colored bras are strung together, forming a clothesline that entangles and connects a group of laughing dancers. A lone figure with a suitcase embarks upon a voyage to an unknown destination.

Through The Materiality of Impermanence I seek to express the ravages of breast cancer, and at the same time, manifest the beauty and strength of the human spirit. Using contemporary movement language, the piece will be structured as a series of solos, duets, trios, and group sections, and will include nine performers, aerial dance, music (including a live harp), text and video.

The total cost of the project is approximately $23,000, which covers theater rental for six shows, lighting, set, video, and costume design, and performer and technical crew fees. The funds raised on Kick Starter will be used to pay for the deposit on the theater space. Remaining production costs will be covered through grants, ticket sales, and in-kind donations. Once the theater deposit has been paid, I will approach various cancer non-profit organizations to form a partnership—they will market the project to their donor base in exchange for the opportunity to raise awareness about breast cancer through the arts. Proceeds from the performances will be donated to the partner charities.

A new friend recently asked me two questions: "What is your greatest fear?” and "What is your greatest hope?" These were my answers:

"My greatest fear is that I will not live to see my child grow up. My greatest hope is that this piece will be…..beautiful, a lens through which we can see that life is fundamentally impermanent, but our spirit is stunningly eternal."

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A hand-crafted card on the theme of breast cancer reproduced from an original work of postage stamp art by dancer Lisa Nicks/Emerald City. www.postagestampcollage.com

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A hand-crafted magnet on the theme of breast cancer reproduced from an original work of postage stamp art by dancer Lisa Nicks/Emerald City. www.postagestampcollage.com

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    9 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A box of printed cards reproduced from original works of postage stamp art by dancer Lisa Nicks/Emerald City. www.postagestampcollage.com

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    3 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A signed copy of Off the Rack: Chronicles of a Thirty-Something, Single, Breast Cancer Survivor by Genae Girard. www.offtherackbook.com

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    One ticket to a performance of The Materiality of Impermanence (transportation not provided) and a surface saver on the theme of breast cancer reproduced from an original work of postage stamp art by dancer Lisa Nicks/Emerald City. www.postagestampcollage.com

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Two tickets to a performance of The Materiality of Impermanence (transportation not provided) and a bra in your size (or your favorite person’s size) hand-decorated by the show’s costume designer Jamie Rhodes.

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    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (60 days)