A huge thanks to YOU ALL we zoomed past our initial Kickstarter goal for Skeleton Flower in just 12 days! We are so humbled and grateful for the support you have all shown! Now for the next step: $5,000 was the bare minimum we needed to be able to finish the video production for Skeleton Flower for our March premiere in Bulgaria. Each dollar above that amount will go towards the next phase of this work that will culminate in a US premiere in June!
The additional $2,000 will help us us to:
- Secure camera and equipment to capture additional footage for the VR film in Bulgaria while we are there for our festival premiere in March (seriously amazing fairytale setting! - see photo below)
- Begin the process of digital design for the virtual reality portion of our film. This involves the creation of an interactive virtual ceremony in which members of the audience will share their stories inside of a virtual space.
Degenerate Art Ensemble has shown their work throughout the US and Europe and is known for their large scale dance and theater projects, concerts, site-transforming spectacles and ongoing public experimentation.
Their newest performance Skeleton Flower (Diphylleia Grayi) exists in a realm where art, technology and ritual meet, using dance, live music and song with a rich layer of virtual reality that provides a glimpse into unseen dimensions.
A personal Story
This new performance is a semi-autobiographical exploration of a creative person’s struggle with identity, depression and the awakening of personal power. Director Haruko Crow Nishimura draws on her own difficult, and at times violent upbringing which led to major breakdowns and years of depression. The work explores how, through creativity, she was able to not only survive, but also share the fruits of her imagination with others, and transform herself in the process. In Skeleton Flower, her personal story is melded together with three fairy tales in which female protagonists overcame great opposition by bringing their creative desires into action.
The Fairy Tales
The fairy tales Skeleton Flower incorporates elements from three fairy tales: The Fitchers Bird, The Red Shoes, and Wild Swans. In The Fitcher’s Bird a girl turns the tables on a Blue Beardian predator through magical trickery involving baskets of gold, covering her body with honey and feathers and ultimately burning him alive in his own home. In The Red Shoes, a girl dances in opposition to the repressive rules of her community. In Wild Swans a girl breaks the spells cast on her and her brothers by the undertaking of an enormous crafting project involving weaving jackets out of stinging nettles. All of these stories celebrate creative and defiant spirits.
Skeleton Flower is a ground-breaking collaboration between the performance company Degenerate Art Ensemble, virtual reality film maker Mischa Jakupcak, visual artist Elizabeth Jameson and video artists Leo Mayberry, Ian Lucero and Laura James. Lighting designer Jessica Trundy will design the lighting to bring the work to life on stage. Together this team will create a multi-media performance that includes virtual reality and a VR film that stands on its own. Mischa Jakupcak's award winning VR work aims to bring new voices to the Virtual Reality landscape. Her recent film production Little Potato with director Wes Hurley has won film festival awards around the world including best short documentary at SXSW. Elizabeth Jameson creates dazzling dream worlds in her paintings and sculptures. Her breathtaking work will bring color and texture to the Skeleton Flower world.
Degenerate Art Ensemble’s newest work Skeleton Flower has been selected by American Dance Abroad for inclusion in their first International dance spotlight “SPOTLIGHT: USA” to be held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in March of 2018 along with 9 other US dance companies. US performances will follow.
Bring Skeleton Flower to life
This project presents enormous artistic challenges and we believe will break new ground for both performance and VR. Integrating VR in performance is a huge challenge. The creation of this work is extremely time-intensive and requires huge time commitments from its creators. Your support will help us to ensure that our artists are paid a fair wage for their work, and that they have the quality materials and equipment required for the task.
Degenerate Art Ensemble Community
Degenerate Art Ensemble has always been supported by an incredible and creative community with hands on work, financial contributions and by coming together to enjoy the work when it is ready for the main stage. We ask you to join this thriving community by supporting Skeleton Flower. We are raising $5,000 with a stretch goal of $7,000 which represents 25% of our project budget. Thank you so much for your support!
The Skeleton Flower, or Dyphalleia Grayi, is an Asian flower that becomes completely transparent when it rains. In Skeleton Flower we peer through the layers of reality to find the hidden forces that give us power.
Risks and challenges
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