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Dive deep with master choreographers Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst as they share the processes and products of their dance-making.
Dive deep with master choreographers Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst as they share the processes and products of their dance-making.
92 backers pledged $8,141 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Enter The Making Room

It’s a rare thing to witness the creative process of master artists. The Making Room shares the swirl of ideas that arise when two artists come together to witness and respond to each other’s ways of making dance.

The Making Room, organized by Bebe Miller Company, brings choreographers Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst together into each other’s creative practice over the course of a year, inviting audiences to follow their progression from start to premiere. While Bebe and Susan are each working separately, The Making Room is the virtual and live platform that tracks and shares their process, collecting images, musings and inspired conversations along the way.

“So many of my favorite moments while creating dance actually happen between rehearsals and outside the studio: the talks over meals; walks in the woods after a day of dancing; sleepy coffee conversations while warming up our bodies to dance. For me, figuring out how to capture and share all parts of the creative process is a fascinating project in itself.” —Bebe Miller

We’re seeking support for the culminating activities of The Making Room:

THE MAKING ROOM PORTAL & E-BOOK:

The Portal in progress!
The Portal in progress!

Free online and downloadable deep-dives into Bebe and Susan’s creative processes. Media and text materials generated during rehearsals and spur-of-the-moment discoveries aim to capture the artists’ developing curiosity and choreographic strategies—the information, perspectives, and physical practice that inspire their dance-making. Launching February 2018 (portal) and Spring 2018 (e-book).

THE MAKING ROOM SHOWS AT NYLA: 

Susan & Bebe watch Michelle doing Susan's work, January 2017. Photo: Lila Hurwitz
Susan & Bebe watch Michelle doing Susan's work, January 2017. Photo: Lila Hurwitz

Three nights bring The Making Room live on stage. Audiences will see works by both Bebe and Susan, and will witness the ways that each artist engages both in the act of creation and with each other during their parallel processes. New York Live Arts, NYC, February 21–24, 2018.

IN A RHYTHM PREMIERE & TOUR: 

Trebien Pollard, Michelle Boulé & Darrell Jones. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
Trebien Pollard, Michelle Boulé & Darrell Jones. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Bebe Miller Company’s newest evening-length work, In a Rhythm, created during The Making Room, will premiere at Wexner Center of the Arts (OH) in November 2017 and tour to On The Boards (WA) and Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. The piece is accompanied by a video installation by Lily Skove, documenting and distilling The Making Room convenings and In a Rhythm rehearsals.

“In making this suite of dances I wanted to look at the syntax of movement—how we collide with meaning through the dynamics of action and context, in time and space. In a Rhythm works with the premise that our willingness to decipher the unfamiliar cultivates a shared understanding. My focus is on the “tell”—the subtle interactions of gesture, timing, focus and energy that are uniquely human, yet, outside of familiar frames, are often illegible. We understand these bytes of kinetic information because we, as humans, move.” —Bebe Miller

* * *

In The Making Room, Bebe and Susan work within their respective creative processes—the intention is not to create a performance product together; instead, the juxtapositions of process, style and intention become the fodder for conversation and influence for each individual’s next steps in their own practice.

Who's in The Making Room?

Susan and Bebe met and danced together in the 1970s and went on to carve their own dance-making paths. The project’s unique challenge is in how to distill and communicate the subtleties and methodologies of the artists, reuniting 40 years later to witness and learn from each other and share that experience with the public.

Bebe Miller (Artistic Director/Choreographer) has received four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation and many others. She was a United States Artists Ford Fellow, received one of the first Doris Duke Artists Awards and a New York Live Arts’ 2013 David White Award, and was a 2015 Movement Research Honoree. Bebe Miller Company was formed in 1985; since then, Miller has created more than 50 dance works for the company that have been performed in nearly 400 engagements worldwide. BMC has been commissioned and presented by leading venues including 651 ARTS, BAM Next Wave, DTW, Jacob's Pillow, Joyce Theater, PICA, REDCAT, Walker Art Center and Wexner Center for the Arts. A Distinguished Professor in Dance at The Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Humanities from 2000–2016, Miller received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in 2009. BMC is working with an incredible team of artistic and technical collaborators:

  • BMC Dance Artists: Michelle Boulé; Christal Brown; Sarah Gamblin; Angie Hauser; Darrell Jones; Bronwen MacArthur; Trebien Pollard 
  • Video Artist: Lily Skove 
  • Consultants: Rachel Boggia (Bates College); Lane Czaplinski (Wexner Center for the Arts); Scott deLahunta (Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University); 
  • Production/Lighting Design: Stan Pressner 
  • Costume Design: Liz Prince 
  • Dramaturgy: Talvin Wilks 
  • Project Manager/Portal Design & Co-Editor: Lila Hurwitz (Doolittle+Bird) 
  • Media Associate/Portal Co-Editor: Shannon Drake

Since 1975, Susan Rethorst has created dances out of New York City, Amsterdam and Philadelphia. Rethorst's work has been presented by The Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, The Downtown Whitney Museum, among others, as well as at various dance theaters, universities, and festivals throughout the U.S. Internationally her work has been produced by The Holland Festival, Spazio Zero Rome, The Kunsthalle Basel, The Aix-en-Provence Festival, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim, an Alpert and a Pew Fellowship. Her book A Choreographic Mind: Autobodygraphical Writings was named one of the Best Books of 2012 by New Yorker Magazine.

Susan’s collaborators include Gabrielle Revlock and Gregory Holt.

Video artist Lily Skove participated as The Making Room's register and translator, documenting in-person convenings as witness to the process, training her eye on the alchemical exchange between all of the artists in the room.

Help The Making Room happen

This kind of interaction between master artists, driven by the artists themselves and viewable to audiences, is rare. This critical exchange is vital for the health of our creative ecology, and offers the community a unique and generous peek into their creative processes.

Even though The Making Room has received some greatly appreciated funding, we need your help to bring our results back to you, our community. The whole idea centers around sharing with the public not only the what but the how of Bebe and Susan’s work. Your generous contribution goes directly towards helping these veteran artists and their collaborators bring that idea and radical transparency to fruition!

Talking about making dance at the Northampton convening, January 2017.
Talking about making dance at the Northampton convening, January 2017.

 

Risks and challenges

Much of the risk in this project is conceptual: sharing the creative process is a relatively new area, and we're experimenting with ways to take advantage of our perspective on our history, enlarge on what the field is doing now, and engage with the future of the field.

However, there is definitely a financial risk, especially since we're committed to making sure our process and work is well-represented. We are dedicated to paying all of the collaborating artists fairly for their time, which is no small feat for such a large and experienced team. BMC is funding this entire project, which includes 20+ artists, designers and consultants, with an enormous amount of cumulated experience. Without your help, BMC will bear the burden of insufficient funding by taking a financial loss on the project.

Your contribution will ensure that the project is represented in the most professional way possible, and everyone involved is compensated fairly. THANK YOU.

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    Welcome Witness

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    Active Audience

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    • A thank-you in the 2018 printed performance programs & e-book
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    Awesome Ally

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    • A thank-you in the 2018 printed performance programs & e-book
    • A sneak-peek at the Portal before it launches worldwide!
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    Engaged Enactor

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    • A shout-out on Facebook and the BMC website
    • A thank-you in the 2018 printed performance programs & e-book
    • A sneak-peek at the Portal before it launches worldwide!
    • Invitation to a dress rehearsal (or a video if you can't make it)
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    Proactive Partner

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    • A shout-out on Facebook and the BMC website
    • A thank-you in the 2018 printed performance programs & e-book
    • A sneak-peek at the Portal before it launches worldwide!
    • Invitation to a dress rehearsal (or a video if you can't make it)
    • 2 tickets to any show (or a video if you can’t make it)
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    Fabulous Friend

    Includes:
    • A shout-out on Facebook and the BMC website
    • A thank-you in the 2018 printed performance programs & e-book
    • A sneak-peek at the Portal before it launches worldwide!
    • Invitation to a dress rehearsal (or a video if you can't make it)
    • 2 tickets to any show (or a video if you can’t make it)
    • Limited-edition photographic print of BMC by Julieta Cervantes
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    Courageous Collaborator

    Includes:
    • A shout-out on Facebook and the BMC website
    • A thank-you in the 2018 printed performance programs & e-book
    • A sneak-peek at the Portal before it launches worldwide!
    • Invitation to a dress rehearsal (or a video if you can't make it)
    • 2 tickets to any show (or a video if you can’t make it)
    • Limited-edition photographic print of BMC by Julieta Cervantes
    • Chat with Bebe over a meal at a mutually-agreed-upon time/place.
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    Creative Champion

    Includes:
    • A shout-out on Facebook and the BMC website
    • A thank-you in the 2018 printed performance programs & e-book
    • A sneak-peek at the Portal before it launches worldwide!
    • Invitation to a dress rehearsal (or a video if you can't make it)
    • 2 tickets to any show (or a video if you can’t make it)
    • Limited-edition photographic print of BMC by Julieta Cervantes
    • Chat with Bebe over a meal at a mutually-agreed-upon time/place.
    • A 30-minute choreographic consultation with Bebe Miller
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Funding period

- (31 days)