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New modern dance work exploring identity through space, stillness, and tight footwork with a soundscape of swelling cello and dramatic poetic imagery.
New modern dance work exploring identity through space, stillness, and tight footwork with a soundscape of swelling cello and dramatic poetic imagery.
21 backers pledged $1,070 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

$1,070

21

Jennifer Mellor Dance Project requests that you skip your regularly scheduled beer or latte today and pledge your support for Libretto: a modern dance, poetry, and cello collaboration. You'll save yourself some empty calories and also be a superhero to an emerging San Francisco dance company--win/win! Help us exceed our minimum goal!

What is Libretto?

Libretto is a new modern dance work I am choreographing in collaboration with friend and accomplished poet Jennifer Kwon Dobbs and cellist/composer Jessica Ivry. The piece explores identity through the juxtaposition and interactions of four dancers moving through space, stillness, and tight footwork with a soundscape of swelling cello and dramatic poetic imagery.

Libretto will be performed November 3-4, 2010, as a culmination of my RAW artist residency at The Garage, an intimate space for contemporary performance in San Francisco. I also plan to create a stand-alone video work based on the stage material. This project is a significant step for Jennifer Mellor Dance Project, and your support is greatly appreciated!

What is the inspiration for Libretto?

The poem used as a foundation for this work captures the internal conflict of an overseas-adopted Korean child struggling to embody an unknown culture within the reality of a suburban Oklahoma summer, where PBS is her only exposure to difference and where the yellow face opera singer of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly on the glowing television is her only tangible connection to an unknown birth mother and country. The work explores truth and duality using a vocabulary that sheds even the ugly in a beautiful light. By rejecting the myth and false embodiment of her identity, she discovers an even greater distance to the truth. At the same time, through this distance, she can understand the path necessary to find it. In the specificity of her situation and emotional journey, I see a connection to the personal struggle we all face to find our own identity.

Not incidentally, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs was a good friend of mine from high school. We both played the flute, attended the opera together, were on the academic team, shared and critiqued poems. My sister-in-law's family now lives in Jennifer's childhood home. To reconnect years later as artists--she as a published poet and writer, and me as a dancer and choreographer-- and to collaborate on this project is a deeply satisfying and resonant experience for us both, to say the least!

We are also all very excited to be working with the amazing Jessica Ivry on an original cello score for this new dance work. The end result will be beautiful!

Who are the artists?

Choreographer: Jennifer Mellor
Poet: Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Cellist/composer: Jessica Ivry
Costume designer: Karen McWilliams
Photographer: Rick Mellor
Dancers: Wendy Marinaccio, Jennifer Mellor, Jamie Venci, and Jennifer Wang

There would be no project without this passionate team of dancers and collaborators. Visit our website for more background on all the artists involved on Libretto. But truly, with this many Jennifers working on it, don't you know that it's bound to be great?!

What is being funded?

A good percentage of the cost of producing the live dance performance is being covered by my artist residency at The Garage. This includes rehearsal space from July through November, as well as the theater rental and staff the week of our show in November. However, the residency doesn't include many other costs critical to a successful dance project. We need your support for funding costume materials, artist fees, music recording and editing, videography and publicity. I'm setting a moderate funding goal, hoping that we meet or exceed it!

No amount is too small to be a significant contribution to making this unique project happen. A mere $5 gets you in, and the rewards just go up from there! I look forward to sharing more about the artistic process and people as we go along, as well as the completed work. Thank you!!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Name recognition on the JMDP website and our undying love and gratitude!

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    The above, plus a free MP3 of our original cello composition for Libretto!

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All the above, plus a special thank-you treat (food/drink, maybe a hug) when you come see our live performance at The Garage and/or a video of our performance if you are unable to attend!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    All the above, plus a special invitation to observe one of our rehearsals. Get a sneak peek at how the artists work!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    All the above, plus a beautiful framed dance photo, signed and kissed by the artists!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    All the above, plus your choice of either 2 complimentary tickets to our performance at The Garage or a free CD by one of our musical collaborators or a free copy of our collaborator's book of poems, signed by the artists!

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    2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All the above, plus VIP seats at our performance, a limited edition Libretto t-shirt, and an exclusive invitation to our cast party after the show!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All the above, plus Wendy will temporarily change her stage name to either Jennifer, Jessica, or Jamie -- your choice! :)

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Funding period

- (45 days)