Many thanks to all those who helped 'the good parts of being alive' meet its original $2,000 goal in just NINE DAYS! In order to go beyond -- and to fund some exciting additional visions for the project -- we've updated our goal by 50%. Visit the UPDATES tab above and follow @AnnaReyesDance on Twitter as we head toward $3,000!
What's the film about?
Human behavior, especially behavior between two people, has always fascinated me. About six months ago, I began to observe and analyze romantic relationships (both my own and others around me). A relationship is extremely fluid, more like running water than ice, and is easily shifted by the variables that surround it. I began to wonder about how time and space can influence a relationship. Time - how long you have known one another, how one feels at a specific moment, whether the time you have together is long or short, limited or unlimited. Space - the location of the relationship, if you share a home or are long-distance, whether the space between two bodies is large or small when both people are together, how much mental space one has for his/her partner, etc.
At the same time I started to consider these ideas, a friend introduced me to the artwork of Egon Schiele. I fell in love with his portraits and was immediately drawn to the strange, evocative poses he painted. I was surprised that the poses he chose were so contemporary and dance-like. His work inspired me to choreograph, and to incorporate my ideas and experiences to the framework his art provided.
Why make this film?
As an emerging choreographer, I'm constantly searching for new ways to express my ideas (and once I have an idea, I have an OVERWHELMING urge to share it). As a dancer, I love performing for a live audience on a stage, where movement is born and dies within the same second. I also love watching dancers perform live, feeling the reverberations of their movement within my own body.
However, as all dancers and choreographers are aware, support for live dance performance in America is on a downward spiral. At the same time, the popularity of dance film is growing. In an era of YouTube and Vimeo, great dance is accessible via the internet within seconds. Most people will spend more time seeing dance via the internet than in live performance. Dance films are an inevitable part of the dance world's future, and I want to be a part of it.
Why do you need my money?
Although being a truly great dancer takes years and years of practice and dedication, a dancer's paycheck rarely reflects his/her knowledge and technical expertise. Dancers are forced to find day jobs that "pay the rent," whether it be dance-related (like teaching) or not (like working at a coffee shop). Dancing gets delegated to "free time" outside of work, and if that means performing for free, that is a sacrifice many are willing to make. I'd like to set the standard higher than that. I don't want to ask my dancers to work for free. I want to compensate them for their artistry and dedication.
What's your budget?
I've already covered expenses for rehearsal spaces, costumes, locations, makeup, and food for days we shoot. I'm working with 4 dancers, one editor/director, and one composer. I'd like to pay each of them $250. This may sound like a big chunk of money, but to break it down hourly, it is still pretty small:
Each dancer has participated for about 2 hours a week for 3 months (24 hours total) and will have been on set for about 8-12 additional hours. At the very least, this makes 32 hours total. $250 divided by 32, or $7.80/hr, is less than minimum wage. This amount is obviously pretty minimal, but definitely better than $0/hr, and a step in the right direction.
The remaining money will be dedicated to covering submission fees for dance film festivals all over the world. If we raise enough funds OVER the goal amount, we will use that money to screen the film in Boston.
Who else is involved?
Lonnie Stanton (dancer) hails from California, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Boston Conservatory in 2009. Currently, she is in her fifth season with Prometheus Dance and her first season with BoSoma Dance Company. Miss Stanton enjoys teaching at Brookline Ballet, the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts, and the Salvation Army Croc Center.
Mary Ellen Liacos (dancer) is originally from New Hampshire. She has trained at the Boston Arts Academy, The Boston Conservatory, and Columbia College. She has performed in works by Adriane Brayton, Fernadina Chan, Sean Curran, Joe Gonzales, Jose Limon, Nathan Trice, and Jimmy Viera. She is currently a member of Anna Myer and Dancers, and enjoys teaching at Boston Arts Academy and Spontaneous Celebrations.
Jordyn Cormier (dancer) is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she choreographs and performs throughout the northeast. She also teaches ballet, modern dance, acting for dance, and improvisation throughout New England, often with the accompaniment of live electric guitar provided by the incomparable Ben Fink.
Joe Gonzalez (dancer) was born and raised in Boston, MA. He began his training at the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts and has graduated from the Boston Arts Academy in 2007 and The Boston Conservatory in 2011. He has perfomed in masterworks by Alvin Ailey, Anna Sokolow, Ronald K Brown, Paul Taylor, Sean Curran, Nathan Trice, Pedro Ruiz Jr., Jose Limon, RubberBand Dance Group, Alwin Nikolais, and more. He has also performed in Canada, Scotland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and India. He is currently a member of Prometheus Dance, Anna Myer and Dancers, and Danza Organica. He is also the co-director and choreographer for Jo-Me Dance.
Saxophonist Jordan Maley (composer) has been composing, performing, and teaching music for almost 15 years. His experience covers a wide array of genres including jazz, blues, funk, hip-hop, etc. Now, he directs his own music program for private students entitled The Jordan Maley Studio.
Tamara Al-Mashouk (co-director) is originally from Bahrain. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2010 and received her Post Baccalaureate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She is a multi-talented artist, fluent in abstract video art, music videos, printmaking, installation, stage design, and multi-media art.
Risks and challenges
Once the project is successfully funded, we still might face some challenges along the way. The main challenge will be editing the film in two different cities (Anna is Boston, Tamara soon-to-be in NYC). With extremely busy lives, we will have to find the time to travel to one another and/or communicate via the internet.
Once the film is completed, we will be submitting it to dance film festivals around the world. There is always the small possibility that the film won't be accepted (though we feel extremely confident in the quality of work). One never knows what critics or judges are looking for.
If we raise enough over the goal amount, we will screen the film in Boston. Finding a location that is accessible yet still affordable might prove to be a challenge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)