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An evening-length dance-theatre piece that explores belonging, identity, and existing in the in-between space as Asian-Americans.
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80 backers pledged $5,510 to help bring this project to life.

About

vessels presents: NEUTRAL GROUND project video thumbnail
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$5,510

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WHO WE ARE

Hi. We’re Shoey Sun, a Chinese-born American artist and choreographer, and Kris Seto, a first generation Chinese, Filipino, and Thai-American artist and choreographer. We are storytellers who make movement for all circumstances.

Maria Panina Photography / @mariapphoto
Maria Panina Photography / @mariapphoto

As the creative and choreographic duo | v e s s e l s |, we’ve been making work since 2014. Together we’ve showcased at multiple festivals, art installations, and performance venues in New York City. 

Within our medium, we are interested in how nontraditional movement and diverse casting can challenge collective ideas of beauty, race, and bodies in motion. Our work asks both the creator and the participants to surrender preconceived notions of logic, structure, and beliefs and tap into a deeper somatic awareness. Our aim is to challenge perceptions of identity and class, and create spaces that spark conversations and curiosity. It is important to us that our work reveal inner landscapes and that they amplify stories and voices that aren’t typically seen or heard so that we may find more commonalities and develop a deeper capacity for empathy.

Photos by Jason Diaz / @jasonpndiaz
Photos by Jason Diaz / @jasonpndiaz

ABOUT THE SHOW

As 2017-2018 CUNY Dance Initiative grant award awardees, we are currently working on our first evening-length show, Neutral Ground, which will debut at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City, Queens this April (26th-28th). Neutral Ground is a 60-minute dance-theatre piece that explores themes of belonging, identity, shame, and existing in the in-between space as Asian-Americans. 

Illustration by Lilly Lam
Illustration by Lilly Lam

This show is very personal to us. It’s our exploration and excavation of our experiences as immigrants, as first generation Asian diaspora, and as artists. As Asian Americans, we are taught very distinct narratives about ourselves—about our roles as the model minority and our place within the greater society. We want to f*ck em up. This show is an act in itself as creators and choreographers. 

HERE'S WHERE YOU COME IN

Why do we need your help?

We’ve been making work together as | v e s s e l s | for the past 4 years, and this is our first evening-length production. We are lucky enough to be the recipients of the CUNY Dance Initiative, along with funding from LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City, Queens, and the Jadin Wong Emerging Choreographer Fellowship from the Asian American Arts Alliance. However, we need help raising an additional $5,000 to help offset the costs. We've brought together an amazing team of artists for Neutral Ground. A significant portion of the $5,000 we raise will go towards paying our dancers, music composer, illustrator, set designer, stage manager, and other staff/personnels. Here is the break-down:

$3,000 - Artist fees for dancers, composer, post-production, and documentation 

$2,000 - Set, props, and additional expenses 

All additional money will go towards helping bring this piece to future audiences and tours.

From Dis/Configure (2016)
From Dis/Configure (2016)

WHY US 

We are building a community led by strong, independent, and curious artists of color. Our voices and point-of-views are dynamic, timely, and relevant. Your support will extend beyond the performance in the opportunities that it creates, the people it brings together, and the conversations that it sparks. Your support is affirmation that art has the power to transform and transcend whoever and wherever we are in this moment to bring us closer together.

We’re excited, nervous, thrilled, humbled and grateful for this opportunity.

We thank you for your love and support. And we hope to pay it forward.

Photos by Jason Diaz / @jasonpndiaz
Photos by Jason Diaz / @jasonpndiaz

Risks and challenges

This show will happen regardless! It's the first iteration of what we hope will be a piece that continues to evolve, move audiences, and fuel conversations to come.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you!

    A personalized thank you video from Kris and Shoey via social media.  

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    CANDY!

    A thank you on our social media + a curated assortment of Asian candies/snacks.

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    Illustrated Postcard

    Thank you on our social media + a one-of-a kind postcard illustration designed by Neutral Ground’s postcard illustrator, Lilly Lam

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    Tarot Card Reading

    A personalized thank you from the company + an online 9-card tarot reading with Kris

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Music Consultation

    An hour-long Q&A session on your next project with Neutral Ground’s composer/sound designer, Cameron Thompkins 

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    Neutral Ground Book

    Receive an exclusive Neutral Ground archive book package that contains behind-the scenes notes, illustrations, rehearsal reports, photos, and artifacts.  

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    Video Editing Consultation

    An hour-long Q&A session on video editing and cinematography with Vessel’s collaborator Jason Diaz. 

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Photoshoot Session

    A personal 1 hour photography session with photographer Keith Fung in NYC. Each session to include 10 edits.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Reiki Session w/ Kris

    A one-hour reiki healing session with Kris in Long Island City.

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    3 backers
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    Photo Print

    Receive a limited edition photo print from vessels’s film project Emergence.

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    Music/Editing Session

    A 1 hour music editing/production session with Neutral Ground’s composer/sound designer, Cameron Thompkins.

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    Private Dance Lesson

    An in-person, private dance lesson with Kris and Shoey + a Q&A session. (NYC only)

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    Private Dinner Evening

    Private dinner (for up to 6 people) hosted in Long Island City.

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    Custom Dance Piece

    Kris and Shoey will consult/choreograph/create/help stage a piece for you at an event of your choice. (Tristate area only)

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Funding period

- (30 days)