We are two New York performance artists, going to Germany to do performances at a 16th Century castle. In this amazing location, we will explore the clash between the Old World and it’s traditions and rituals, and today’s 21st Century world and the contradictions which we all embrace everyday. The performers are David Rodgers and Vernita N’Cognita, longtime colleagues and collaborators. Our performances will be a compelling mix of theater, music and dance, in which both the artists and the audience will examine their own place in the march of history.
The invitation to perform comes from a summer art festival called the Sommerakademie of Kunst in Schloss Homburg, an annual art institute and creative gathering in the small town of Homburg-am-Main, in Bavaria. Rodgers has been participating and performing there since 2008, but this will be N’Cognita’s first visit. The performances will be interrelated and collaborative, but conducted as individual performances. They will take place on Saturday, August 25, 2012, at 8 PM.
We are two artists doing this on our own, not a production company or organization, and are posting this listing on Kickstarter to seek support from you in meeting the cost of this trip. We believe that the ultimate purpose of performing is to create an active dialogue among people by sharing the collective experience of live performance, and with this project, promote international cultural exchange. Through our performances, we encourage people to share different viewpoints and sensibilities, both among our audience members and the people with whom we work. We also want to share our work with our Kickstarter supporters, so we will stage these performances again in New York after returning from Germany.
About The Performances
Vernita N’Cognita’s work, The Trail of Sighs and Whispers, is a performance inspired by the ritual and tradition of marriage. In a twisted tale told through Butoh-inspired movement, costume and voice, N'Cognita, as The Bride, will take aim at this ritual of culture. She will seek to shed light on the concept of ‘The Wedding’, and the difficulty of wedding the complex paths of two lives in the 21st Century, using masks and movement to create a work with feminist overtones. In this work, N’Cognita will be using the streets and main plaza of Homburg as her stage, traveling by foot and bringing the audience to the entrance of the town’s Church of St. Burkardus, where she will be joined by Rodgers for the conclusion of her performance, and the beginning of his.
Rodgers’ performance, The Music of the Spheres, concerns the 17th century German astronomer Johannes Kepler and his surreal encounter with the remarkable astronomical events of 2012, which he predicted mathematically in the 1600’s. Rodgers will explore how this man from the Scientific Renaissance confronts life 400 years in the future, and how Kepler learns to communicate his revolutionary discoveries to people of the computer age. In this theatrical spoken-word performance, staged in the courtyard of the castle, Rodgers will explore the nature of communication, scientific and otherwise. He will once again work with local musician David Hartmann, who makes and plays his own unconventional musical instruments, providing the live soundtrack to accompany Kepler’s journey through a new world.
A Bit of Additional Background Information by David Rodgers
I have been participating in the art festival Sommerakademie of Kunst in Schloss Homburg since 2009, creating performance works staged both at Schloss Homburg, and at locations around the town of Homburg-am-Main. I first went there in 2008, invited to perform in the exhibition Mainseits '08. The exhibition was curated by the German Artist Elvira Lantemhammer, the founder of the Sommerakademie., who restored and resides in the Schloss. The following year, 2009, I was invited to return and create a performance at the Sommerakademie, where classes and seminars have been given in painting, drawing, photography and other artistic disciplines. Since then, the Sommerakademie has culminated with an exhibition of visual art in the gallery at the Schloss, and with my performances.
Although the Sommerakademie does not receive funding to pay performers, I have returned several times because the atmosphere there is extremely conducive to artistic experimentation. I have also felt the physical environment of the town and its Schloss, built in 1568 and locally referred to as "The Castle", to be inspiring, as have other participants at the Sommerakademie. Doing these shows has allowed me to work with some of the very talented musicians and performers from the area, because not only is it important to me to perform with music and sounds created live at the performance, it's also important to explore the collective creative process. This is why I've also reached out to the community and enlisted people with little or no previous performing experience. The Sommerakademie receives excellent press coverage in the region's newspaper, the Main-Post, and is of great cultural interest to this part of Bavaria. I am very pleased and excited to have Vernita participating this year. It will be a very special and compelling event.
Should we receive extra funding for this project beyond our basic goal, we will use it to improve our documentation of this event, hiring a professional editor for the video and a professional camera crew to document the process. This would enable us to better share the experience with all who could not come and be a part of it.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments about the project or this listing. Thank you very much for checking out our project and we hope that you will become one of our supporters!
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