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Sonya Tayeh’s emotionally charged dance-symphony explores a mystifying, complex, jagged relationship between a mother and daughter.
Sonya Tayeh’s emotionally charged dance-symphony explores a mystifying, complex, jagged relationship between a mother and daughter.
413 backers pledged $48,055 to help bring this project to life.

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$48,055

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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.

"i thought it was holy" (© shervin lainez)
"i thought it was holy" (© shervin lainez)

The Campaign:

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! 

New York Live Arts theatre
New York Live Arts theatre

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. 

The Bengsons © Maria Baranova
The Bengsons © Maria Baranova

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. 

"you'll still..." rehearsal shot (dec 2015 workshop) © Augustine Doublet
"you'll still..." rehearsal shot (dec 2015 workshop) © Augustine Doublet

Our INIMITABLE designers include Nicole Pearce on LIGHTS! Mondo Morales on COSTUMES! Rachel Hauck on SET!

We certainly cannot wait to show you what we are making!

press photo © Maria Baranova
press photo © Maria Baranova

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.

Thank you!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Tip Jar

    any and every contribution helps, no matter the amount!

    we are so grateful for you...
    and for donating to the TIP JAR, you'll receive our unending collective gratitude and updates on the campaign and show!

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    The Digital Diary

    Sonya will email you a photo of one of her personal journal entries -- passages used as source material and lyrical inspiration for this show.

    with this reward we certainly go deep inside the written word. it's a personal look into Sonya's intimate artistic & creative process!

    we'll ALSO shower you with our immense gratitude in a social media shout out!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    SIGNATURE SHOW PHOTO-STRIP!

    you'll receive a SIGNATURE PHOTOSTRIP with 4 vertically laid out press/show photos to hang anywhere you see fit! catch this LIMITED EDITION reward in the closing hours of our campaign!

    we've got 13 hours left and we are trying to achieve a goal of rounding up to 400 BACKERS!

    we've had an amazing run of it, this campaign, and we wanted to extend one last exciting item to anyone who donates $5 AND BEYOND in this final countdown!

    Includes:
    • one-of-a-kind show illustration printed on a 3x3 magnet!
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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    The Social Salute

    we'll shower you with our immense gratitude in a social media shout out! (leave us your handle in the comments so we can tweet @ you)!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    ELECTROMAGNETIC FEVER DREAM!

    NEW REWARD ALERT!
    you will receive a 3x3 MAGNET with a one-of-a-kind show illustration drawn by the inimitable MICHAEL ARTHUR specifically for this campaign! featuring imagery based on our incredible principal dancers Jenn Freeman and Chelsea Thedinga, the artwork was emotionally inspired by "you'll still call me by name"!

    you will ALSO receive a private Spotify link to a specially tailored playlist of the songs that churn and conjure the imaginations and inspiration of our creative team!

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Sneaky Rehearsal Shot

    you'll receive a personal selfie text (straight to your cellphone!) from Sonya & the rest of the creative team LIVE from behind the closed doors of the rehearsal room! (look forward to a sneak-peek of some mid-choreo moves and smiling faces!)

    we'll ALSO shower you with our immense gratitude in a social media shout out! (leave us your handle in the comments so we can tweet @ you)!

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Inspiration Station: Personal Playlist

    the creative team (Sonya, The Bengsons, & Jo Lampert aka "The Real Make") will send you a private Spotify link to a specially tailored playlist of the songs that churn and conjure our imaginations and inspiration!

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Inbox Invocation

    the creative team (Sonya, The Bengsons, & Jo Lampert aka "The Real Make") will send you a personalized email thank you with a behind-the-scenes digital image attached!

    PLUS we will send you a private Spotify link to a specially tailored playlist of the songs that churn and conjure our imaginations and inspiration!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPES (LMTD EDTN)

    NEW REWARD ALERT! LIMITED # AVAILABLE!

    you will receive an 8x10 mountable canvas print of an incredible, one-of-a-kind show illustration drawn by the inimitable MICHAEL ARTHUR specifically for this campaign! featuring imagery based on our incredible principal dancers Jenn Freeman and Chelsea Thedinga, the artwork was emotionally inspired by "you'll still call me by name"! the CANVAS will be personally autographed by SONYA TAYEH!

    you will ALSO receive a private Spotify link to a specially tailored playlist of the songs that churn and conjure the imaginations and inspiration of our creative team!

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Memorable Memorabilia

    the creative team (Sonya, The Bengsons, & Jo Lampert aka "The Real Make") will mail you a personalized, autographed show photo!

    PLUS we will send you a private Spotify link to a specially tailored playlist of the songs that churn and conjure our imaginations and inspiration!

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Victory Video

    the creative team (Sonya, The Bengsons, & Jo Lampert aka "The Real Make") will email you a PERSONALIZED THANK YOU VIDEO with your name in mini-song, to boot! (feel free to post this on your social media if that tickles your fancy!)

    PLUS a behind-the-scenes digital image attached to the email!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Get with the Program!

    your name will appear in PRINT in the SPECIAL THANKS section of the NYLA show program...
    PLUS, we will mail you the program personalized and autographed by the team!

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    Cover Song Crescendo

    The Bengsons (and Jo Lampert) will arrange and record a cover song of your choice for you and/or someone you love.

    PLUS the creative team (Sonya, The Bengsons, & Jo Lampert aka "The Real Make") will mail you a personalized, autographed show photo!

    AND your name will appear in PRINT in the SPECIAL THANKS section of the NYLA show program!

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    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    Sensational Skype Session

    get a 30-minute LESSON via SKYPE.

    if you choose facetime with SONYA TAYEH, you can chat about dance or get a training session catered towards your dance abilities, needs and wants.

    if you choose facetime with THE BENGSONS, you can chat about music or have a voice lesson catered to your abilities, needs and wants.

    AND your name will appear in PRINT in the SPECIAL THANKS section of the NYLA show program...

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Rehearsal Reward

    you and a guest can join us in-studio for a special behind the scenes treat... come watch a "you'll still call me by name" rehearsal/run-through (subject to your availability)

    *OUT-OF-TOWNERS DON'T FRET!
    we'll skype you in!

    AND your name will appear in PRINT in the SPECIAL THANKS section of the NYLA show program!

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Page to the Stage

    you and a guest can join us in-studio for a special behind the scenes treat... come watch a "you'll still call me by name" rehearsal/run-through (subject to your availability) AND THEN...

    COME SEE THE FINAL PRODUCT, and bring a date!
    you'll receive TWO FREE HOUSE TICKETS to a show of your choice! (tickets based on show availability)

    AND your name will appear in PRINT in an EXCLUSIVE SECTION of the NYLA show program!

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    THE DREAMCATCHER

    A 2-HOUR SONYA TAYEH PRIVATE LESSON/MASTER CLASS whether you (or your child) are NYC-based or on your next trip to NY!

    OR

    THE BENGSONS PLAY A 5-SONG SET FOR YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS -- a PRIVATE CONCERT in the comfort of your living room!

    PLUS...
    TWO FREE HOUSE TICKETS to a show of your choice! (tickets based on show availability)
    AND your names in PRINT in an EXCLUSIVE SECTION of the NYLA show program...
    AND we will mail you a show poster signed by the whole cast and creative team!

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Funding period

- (30 days)