Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 11, 2012.

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Performance artist, singer, song writer Eliza Rickman pairs with The Smith Project, a contemporary and theatrical dance company in KC.


Eliza Rickman + The Smith Project =


O, You Sinners ~ Alive and Dancing

Watch our video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOteBS8UUMo

While performing in New Orleans in September, Marisa MacKay had the opportunity to experience the magical music of performance artist, singer, song writer, and composer, Eliza Rickman. Her concert was held in grass-roots performance space called the AllWays Lounge, just off the beaten path a few miles out from the French Quarter. The idea of a collaboration, a co-collective concert between the music prodigy and dancers struck Marisa when Eliza announced she was going to play “a waltz” and invited anyone to feel free to get up in dance. Marisa gripped herself to her chair resisting the melody and the movement she felt in her body. Yes, this had to happen.

The dancers were instantly taken with Eliza’s music just as Marisa had been and they also agreed that the project was a “Go”. Eliza then willingly signed on to the live performance collaboration. On Friday, June 15th and Saturday, June 16th at Off Center Theatre in Crown Center, San Francisco based Eliza Rickman will join Kansas City’s The Smith Project for an once-in-a-lifetime performance art spectacle of emotional sound and sight entitled, “O, You Sinners ~ Alive and Dancing”. As Eliza performs her repertoire live on stage, the dancers will dance their choreography and emotions on stage with her, sharing the lights and space with artistic precision and dedication.

Your gift of funds for this Kickstarter project will go toward and help with theatrical venue and technical costs, grand piano rental and tuning, advertising and promotions, production incidentals and performer compensation. The dancers have been rehearsing for this concert since October without any sort of monetary return and are providing their own costumes for the performance. Eliza is currently touring the nation paying out of pocket and while booking gigs and relying on album sales to fund her tour.

The Smith Project is a contemporary and theatrical dance company created to carry audiences into a new age of ever-evolving, vibrant dance performances by combining installments of the technology arts, composers, visual arts, dance styles and techniques while supporting innovative, professional artists in the community.

Created by Marisa MacKay, [former Director, choreographer, and dancer of Reach…a movement collective, inc.; Current Performance Artist Resident of Charlotte Street, Inspiration Grant Award Recipient of The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, and chosen for the recent gallery installation of “The Dinner Party,” presented in part of the Charlotte Street’s “Dining Room Project.”] The Smith Project is a new dance company established in Kansas City in 2011. Dancers and Choreographers of The Smith Project include: Cecily Boyd, Bobbi Foudree, Tara Glaus, Margaret Gordon, Nicole Hall, Amy Hurrelbrink, Amanda January, Marisa MacKay, Leigh Patterson and Stephen Plante.

There is always a hint of menace and reservoirs of force haunting the corners of Eliza Rickman’s voice, whatever register it occupies. Her presence on stage—whether she wears flowers in her hair, or stuffed birds; whether she plays a toy piano or a grand piano—is an enveloping, soft darkness, impossible to ignore. It is quite a surprise that Rickman didn’t even realize she could sing until after she earned a degree in orchestration from Azusa Pacific University, because her voice is the most enthralling and salient feature of any on the tracks from her new album 'O, You Sinners'. And this is saying something, considering her deftness as a pianist and her subtlety as a composer. Like Kate Bush's work, or like PJ Harvey’s album 'White Chalk', the arrangements on 'O, You Sinners' are edged with dissonance. Like Andrew Bird, she favors pizzicato strings over junkyard percussion and complex lyrical melodies. Indeed, Rickman’s co-producer Mark Greenberg is a frequent contributor to Bird’s albums (as well as to Wilco’s 'The Whole Love' and to the Grammy Award-winning Mavis Staples’s album 'You Are Not Alone').

Religious themes pervade Rickman’s work—her album is, after all, titled 'O, You Sinners'. She is the daughter of a pastor, and started playing piano in church at the age of 13. But like one of her great influences- Nick Cave- her writing belies ambivalence about religion. Good and evil; love, both God’s love and carnal love; sinners and saints; desire and repentance, all find a place in Rickman’s songs. They lurk behind the scrim- whatever stage she sets. The coin of her realm is stamped with the will of God, and whether you are a doubter or a believer you must deal in her currency if you want her to ferry you ashore. “O, you sinners” she sings, “hear me.” And how could we not listen?

The Smith Project and Eliza Rickman thank you for your support of live, performance art and our artistic collaboration, “O, You Sinners ~ Alive and Dancing”. Your support for our artistic endeavors allows us to continue to create live, progressive performance art and spectacle for your enjoyment. THANK YOU!

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    “Sinner” - Thank you in the program

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    “On the Road to Salvation” - Thank you in the program and photo opportunity with the cast after the show

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    “Dancing in the Streets” - Thank you in the program and O, You Sinners electronic album

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    “Saved” - Thank you in the program and invitation for two to the exclusive tech run Thursday, June 14th

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    "Holy Roller" - Thank you in the program and 1 DVD of the collaborative performance

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    “Saint” - Thank you in the program and 2 tickets to your performance of choice

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    “Stairway to Heaven” - Thank you in the program, 4 tickets to your performance of choice and invitation for four to the Glory After Party following the performance

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    "Arch-Angel" - Thank you in the program, 4 tickets to your performance of choice and invitation for four to the Glory After Party following the performance, 1 DVD of the collaborative performance

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    “Angel” - Thank you in the program, 4 tickets to your performance of choice, invitation for four to the Glory After Party following the performance, One O, You Sinners CD autographed by Eliza Rickman

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    “Died and Gone to Heaven” - Thank you in the program, 6 tickets to your performance of choice, invitation for six to the Glory After Party following the performance, One O, You Sinners CDs autographed by Eliza Rickman

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    “Dancing with Divinity” - Thank you in the program, photo opportunity with the cast after the show, 2 to the exclusive tech run Thursday, June 14th, 6 tickets to your performance of choice, invitation for six to the Glory After Party following the performance, Two O, You Sinners CDs autographed by Eliza Rickman, 1 DVD of the collaborative performance

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    “Signed Soul” - Thank you in the program, photo opportunity with the cast after the show, unlimited guests to the exclusive tech run Thursday, June 14th, 10 tickets to your performance of choice, invitation for ten to the Glory After Party following the performance, Five O, You Sinners CDs autographed by Eliza Rickman, 3 DVD of the collaborative performance

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