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An immersive gallery installation with durational performances in response to the fragmentation of femme and queer identities.
An immersive gallery installation with durational performances in response to the fragmentation of femme and queer identities.
128 backers pledged $10,195 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$10,195

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MEET CHERDONNA!

Part contemporary dance, part performance art, and part drag queen, Cherdonna Shinatra is a persona I've been developing for over ten years to explore and question our world. My work as Cherdonna exists in contemporary arts theaters, in the night club scene, in museums, galleries and cabarets. 

"Cherdonna bravely provides us with a knowing relief—an imperfect, honest, funny trip to the unknown.” Leah Baltus, CityArts

MEET HER NEW COMPANY DONNA!

I am excited to announce “DITCH” - the inaugural work of my official new company DONNA. Together my persona Cherdonna and the company will explore experiences around our collective queerness, femme-centric, professionally-trained contemporary dance bodies. We’ll use clowning, drag, theater, comedy, performance art, camp, pop culture, gay culture, dance traditions, feminist traditions, absurdity and subversive commentary to make art.

DONNA includes five incredibly smart and fiery dance artists joined by our company dramaturge Maggie Rogers, costume designer Danial Hellman, and company manager Sara Jinks. I am thrilled to be breaking new territory with this fierce group.

“Beyond being funny, it captures the discrepancy between expectations and reality and the personal agony of trying to bridge that gap.” Kaitlin McCarthy, City Arts - DONNA in Kissing Like Babies  photo: Jenny Peterson
“Beyond being funny, it captures the discrepancy between expectations and reality and the personal agony of trying to bridge that gap.” Kaitlin McCarthy, City Arts - DONNA in Kissing Like Babies photo: Jenny Peterson

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN DITCH

DITCH Frye Art Museum - Seattle WA January 26th - April 28th, 2019

In her first, full-scale solo exhibition in a museum setting, Cherdonna will butcher her way through the forced fragmentation of her identity joined by a chorus of five raucous sisters. They will torture expectations of femme labor and reject the splintering of self. 

“DITCH” is an environment that will integrate our varied identities and reject the patriarchal white cube gallery space of the museum. The exhibition will be activated by performances six days a week for one hour over three months. That’s eighty performances!

We will unapologetically inhabit our femme selves, indulge conceptually, abstractly, and poetically to find retribution and visibility. This work is a priority for me to center a space - physically and psychologically - for femme people. There are too few spaces like this, especially in our current political climate.

 SURPRISE!

The choreographed work will evolve over the three months of performance. It will accumulate and collect both energetic traces and physical materials. No two performances will be the same.

Clock That Construct, Henry Art Gallery  photo: Marilyn Montufar
Clock That Construct, Henry Art Gallery photo: Marilyn Montufar

"And uncategorizable spectacle.... Cherdonna is a genius. Cherdonna for President" - Christopher Frizzelle The Stranger

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

This campaign will pay for one year of rehearsals for six dancers. We are thick in the development part of this project. We are active in the studio, compiling research, meeting with designers, and tenaciously tearing at the complicated content of this work.

DONNA direction and choreography Jody Kuehner aka Cherdonna Shinatra

Company Members: Jenna Eady, Allison Burke, Alyza DelPan-Monley, Katie Wyeth, and Julia Sloane.

Understudy: Carlin Kramer Costume Design: Danial Hellman Sound Design: Matt Starritt Dramaturgy: Maggie Rogers Company Manager: Sara Jinks

Kuehner is a 2017 Artist Trust Fellowship recipient, 2017 Henry Art Gallery Artist in Residence, 2017 CityArts Artist of the year, 2015 Stranger Genius Award winner, Velocity Dance Center's 2014 Artist in Residence, and 2010 Spotlight Award winner, and was recently funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project for one great, bright, brittle alltogetherness. Jody was Dayna Hanson’s Production Coordinator and Assistant Director 2010-2015 for various projects. She danced with Pat Graney company from 2007 - 2016 also assisting Graney’s KTF Prison Project. As Cherdonna, she performs with award-winning international sensations Kitten N’ Lou and The Atomic Bombshells.

Risks and challenges

DITCH is eighty performances long. Eighty!!! Three months at six days a week - an extensive experience contemporary artists rarely get. What will happen!? What will our bodies learn? What will our audiences see over the course of so many days?

I am fully committed to paying my company for their work and artistic contributions. Because I am passionate about compensating my team equitably, this project is a risk. In a time where grants are not a reliable option, we need art lovers desperately.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Sweetie

    Social Media Shout Out! We want to celebrate you out loud!

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    Sugar

    A postcard thanks from the whole cast picturing Cherdonna thinking loving thoughts about you while eating a Nilla Waffer

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    Honey

    Exclusive behind the scenes DITCH video reel especially for you!

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    Darling

    A one-of-a-kind artifact from the making of DITCH.

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    Baby Cakes

    A pair of custom Danial Webster Designs underwear with exclusive graphics!

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    Dreamboat

    Dinner with the artist! We'll take you to our favorite spot.

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Funding period

- (30 days)