you'll still call me by name is an emotionally-charged dance-symphony that explores a mystifying, complex and jagged relationship between a mother and daughter. The piece exposes the cellular desire for familial acceptance, intimately investigating and dissecting the heartbreaking chasm that forms when it is lost - and the endurance it takes to transcend that space between. Indie-folk duo (my spirit animals) The Bengsons have written all new, original material that they will perform live alongside a full band.
Hello All –– Sonya Tayeh here!
This campaign is raising money on behalf of a new piece I'm creating with my collaborators, Abigail and Shaun Bengson (The Bengsons) and Jo Lampert. you’ll still call me by name will have its world premiere on the main stage at New York Live Arts (NYLA) in Manhattan, performing this coming winter 2016 from Friday December 9 - Sunday December 11 and Wednesday December 14 - Saturday December 17.
Your support is crucial in order to bring this show to life! Our $40,000 KickStarter goal reflects just a portion of the funds it will take to present this piece at NYLA (and begin our dreams for beyond)! Your donations will go directly toward covering the show's overarching and essential needs which include but are not limited to:
- renting rehearsal space;
- hiring and paying a lighting designer, a set designer, a sound engineer, a costume designer;
- fulfilling the designers incredible creations by providing budget for their materials and hiring their right-hand assistants;
- assembling and paying for a production team (company manager, stage manager, PAs, intern);
- paying the company of 8 dancers and 6 musicians-- and covering their travel accommodations;
- bolstering our press, publicity, and marketing efforts;
- renting equipment (e.g. instruments, monitors, lighting tools, etc.);
- ... and beyond!
Whether you are able to contribute $1 or many dollars, every cent is a rung on this ladder and is appreciated more than words can describe.
This is my first-ever full-length New York City commission. It has been thrilling to work on this piece for the last year and a half. It's also been one of my greatest challenges yet, to create such a personal work from the ground up -- working with dancers new and familiar, live musicians from around the country, and a dance-theatre institution who believes in our vision. To have a home in which to premiere this piece is a tremendous gift, and with that comes the responsibility of filling that space with the necessities to make this piece come to life, and forming a company of artists who I admire and who will be working extremely hard alongside me. It is a true honor to be making this dream a reality, and we cannot do that without your help!
The Work & Collaborators:
you'll still call me by name has been brewing for two years. It was born out of conversations that began between myself and my collaborators in early 2014, which turned into many hours of recorded interview material about my life experiences, my relationship to faith and family, my inner turmoils and the barriers formed and broken throughout my life. These recordings have now become woven through the fabric of our piece, like a moving diary, acting as source material and inspiration both musically and choreographically.
I feel an immediacy and an urgency to choreograph this story, to try to answer the questions that many of us have as we feel pulled apart — what do I believe? what is my core? what is at the root of me? who am I now that I don’t see my reflection in my own blood?
There is nothing “sensible” about the approach I am taking in making this work— the movement is rather the raw truth; it aims to expose the nerves.
The Bengsons, my longtime music-collaborators and composers for this piece, are known for their blistering honesty and sincere righteousness. They write and perform music that has been called "[an experience both] odd and raw, by turns accessible, touching and frothy. It’s a little bit everything and it’s also unlike anything you’ve seen and heard before." (City Beat, Cincinnati) In the past, they have written gorgeous music for pieces I have created on "So You Think You Can Dance" –– and NOW they are writing a SYMPHONY of original music to be performed live for you'll still... Overall there is a magnetic and unique fluidity in our cross-collaboration as artists. They have put together a remarkable band who will perform live alongside them.
Assembled from across the country, the you'll still... company of dancers, (official cast to be announced soon), are the epitome of technical facility-meets-undeniable well of truth. They dance from a place of raw emotion supported by their unending strength and prowess.
We certainly cannot wait to show you what we are making!
Selected Press Quotes:
“Tayeh invents astonishing moves and chameleon choreography...” - Marilyn Stasio, Variety
“This tackling of tough psychological territory, with a powerful physical style... places Ms. Tayeh in the Graham tradition. She’s kind of like a great granddaughter of the Graham style because the physicality defines the emotions. Sonya is part of our family tree.” - Janet Eilber (Artistic Director of Martha Graham Dance Co.) for the New York Times
“Seeing The Bengsons perform live was truly an invigorating experience overflowing with honest chemistry. A must see for all.” - Burlington Music
“(The Bengsons are) quirky and radiantly emotive.” - Time Out NY “(They are) gripping, chilling, exhilarating, wild and heart rending…a must see.” - The San Francisco Chronicle
- - - - -An Extra Special Thank You- - - - -
to all of the incredible artists who have been a part of you'll still call me by name over these last years and matchlessly, inextricably helped us get to this place we are today. and to Fresh Ground Pepper for providing us the platform for our first-ever in-progress performance of the beginnings of this material.
Risks and challenges
We are depending on the fulfillment of this campaign, to support and bolster the immensely hard work we've put into this piece. Over the last year and a half, we've been working on a shoe string budget, relying on the kindness and dedication of artists. So we are taking a risk on trying to bring "you'll still call me by name" to its most vivid and fully realized place, with a budget that will actualize our necessities and dreams.
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