Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
23 dancers, 18 musicians, 2 theaters, 2 Acts and 2 eras, within a Ballez that canonizes L.E.S. Activist Herstory in 1893 and 1993.
23 dancers, 18 musicians, 2 theaters, 2 Acts and 2 eras, within a Ballez that canonizes L.E.S. Activist Herstory in 1893 and 1993.
592 backers pledged $25,901 to help bring this project to life.

About

Sleeping Beauty & the Beast, a Ballez project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$25,901

592

The Ballez

The Ballez creates inspiring and funny story ballets that celebrate the narratives and performances of lesbian, queer, and transgender people. The Ballez celebrates collaborative creation, dancing that expresses the complexity of our emotions, desires and embodiment, and the virtuosity of gender-queer expression.  

Our first really big show, “The Firebird, a Ballez,” premiered in 2013 at Danspace Project at St Mark's Church, to sold out audiences and critical acclaim, and we were brought back for a reprise the following fall! Our new project, hopes to build on that base, and expand our work out to touch more lives and create more space for new bodies and stories to enter the ballet canon.  

The Project

For the past three years, we have been working on "Sleeping Beauty & the Beast." This Ballez takes these two classic tales and re-writes them in order to insert the herstory of lesbian and queer activists into the ballet canon: the striking Garment Workers of 1893, and the AIDS activist dykes of 1993. 

Our show will be performed in two acts, with two theaters, and a street protest intermission, presented at the historically radical La MaMa ETC, as part of the La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival.

The First Act, staged in the Ellen Stewart Theater, brings us into 1893, the Industrial Revolution on the Lower East Side, and the coming obsolescence of spinning wheels. Aurora, the daughter of a garment factory magnate, spends her life dreaming about the strong women who work in her father's factory. When she pricks her finger on a union organizing dyke's spindle, and falls madly in love, she is protected from the wrath of her family by the benevolent Violet Faerie, who works magic to transport the whole scene 100 years into the future.

The Second Act will bring us into La Mama’s new basement theater, entering 1993. The Beast, a leather clad stone butch top, opens Aurora's eyes to a new world of radical sexuality and identity, within a community of queers reckoning with the fallout of the AIDS pandemic. We witness our characters from 1893 re-embodied, with the Factory Workers enacting the "Wedding Scene" variations (from the original Sleeping Beauty ballet) as club dances, and our First Act Faeries (plus 8 additional dancers) performing the roles of Dying Swans. This final Act questions what it means to really wake-up, without losing your dreams and your heart.

The Team

Music-

  • Act 1: Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" score, played live by 18 members of the Queer Urban Orchestra, Conductor Julie Desbordes
  • Act 2: JD Samson has created a House Music DJ set composed for our production, and Harpist Stephanie Babirak and Cellist Bjorn Berkhout will play "Le Cygne" live for our Dying Swans. 

World Premiere Cast-

  • Beast: Jules Skloot
  • Aurora: Madison Krekel
  • Carabosse: Deborah Lohse
  • Violet Faerie: Chris De Vita
  • Scarlet Faerie: Charles Gowin 
  • Azure Faerie: Chris Braz
  • Bluebird: Ashley Yergens
  • Bluebird: Lindsay Reuter
  • The Grey Wolf: iele Paloumpis
  • Little Red Riding Hood: Janet Werther
  • Cinderella: Khadija Griffith
  • Puss in Boots: Mei Yamanaka
  • White Cat: Kirstin Dahmer
  • Firebird: Erica Ricketts
  • Lesbian Princess: Eliana Dell'Anna
  • Dying Swans Include: Ahmaud Culver, Michael DiPietro, Helen Fourness, Hans Rausch and Max Steele

Design and Production Team

  • Dramaturg: Clarinda Mac Low
  • Lighting Designer: Chloe Brown
  • Costume Designer: Karen Boyer
  • Production Management: Brendan Regimbal
  • Stage Manager: Alex Symes
  • Production Consulting: Aaron Rosenblum and Caleb Hammons

Musicians

  • 1st violin: Nick Johnson and Reyenne Schiowitz
  • 2nd violin: Alva Bostick and Stephanie Stattel
  • Viola: Marvin Li
  • Cello: Bjorn Berkhout
  • Bass: Adrienne Lloyd
  • Flute/Piccolo: Craig Devereaux
  • Oboe/English Horn: Amy Yamashiro
  • Clarinet: Travis Fraser
  • Bassoon: Charlie Scatamacchia
  • French Horn: Peter DelGrosso and Kim Spagnola
  • Trumpet: George Gehring
  • Trombone: Jason Svatek
  • Percussion: Sean Foradori
  • Harp: Stephanie Babirak
  • Piano: Christian Smythe
  • Music arranged by: Bjorn Berkhout and Nick Johnson 
  • Orchestra General Manager: Andrew Berman 
  • Orchestra Personnel Manager: Liann Wadewitz

The Budget

Our total budget for the past three years of development, our final rehearsal period, and full production, is just under $100k.

We have thus far been generously supported by the Jerome Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Brooklyn Arts Council, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and our dear Producer’s Circle. 

We are asking for your help to raise the final $25k of our budget. These fees will go directly to paying artists' wages. We need your help to complete our work and to radically shift the ballet canon!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ATTENTION, AND PLEASE DO COME TO THE SHOW!!!!!

PREMIERE- LA MAMA ETC, ELLEN STEWART AND DOWNSTAIRS THEATERS, APRIL 29-MAY 9, 2016

Rewards:

Ballez Logo for Tote Bags and T-shirts, designed by Jennifer Camper
Ballez Logo for Tote Bags and T-shirts, designed by Jennifer Camper
Zoe Leonard's "ladies and gentlemen"
Zoe Leonard's "ladies and gentlemen"
Fierce Pussy signed poster
Fierce Pussy signed poster
"Very Fine, Widely Dispersed" by Molly Yergens
"Very Fine, Widely Dispersed" by Molly Yergens
Nicole Eisenman's "Crossing the Alborz"
Nicole Eisenman's "Crossing the Alborz"

Risks and challenges

We are fully prepared to proceed with our planned rehearsal and production schedule and present this performance at La Mama this April 29-May 8.
We have assembled a great team to address any challenges that arise. All we really need now, are the funds from YOU so that everyone can do their work, and then we can make HERSTORY!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About $10

    Your name in the official program printed for our show at La Mama!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    75 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Polaroid photograph by Erica Ricketts from Ballez rehearsal

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Ballez Coloring Book! Drawn by Eliana Dell'Anna, this zine style coloring book features Eliana's drawings of everyone in the Ballez Company.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    74 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Fourth Arts Block tote bags! Lovely tote bags from FAB, one of our East Village partners in the show.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Ballez tote bag- the new Ballez logo, designed by Jennifer Camper, printed up big on an unbleached cotton tote.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    140 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Ballez t-shirt! The Ballez logo, designed by artist Jennifer Camper, will be splashed across a white t-shirt.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    97 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    T-shirt AND Tote Bag!

    Get 'em both!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    32 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About $75

    Historical Tour of E. 4th st for you and 5 friends, by Risa Shoup, Director of Fourth Arts Block. Learn about all the radical performing artist and activist working spaces on the block from someone who really knows the lay of the land.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    Private Ballez Class with Katy Pyle and Madison Krekel at Brooklyn Arts Exchange or Fourth Arts Block. This class can be for 2-10 friends of your choice!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    Private Ballez Class with Jules Skloot at Fourth Arts Block or Brooklyn Arts Exchange. This class can be for 1 to 5 friends of your choice!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    One on one Ballez Class/Life-Coaching with Deborah Lohse at Fourth Arts Block or Brooklyn Arts Exchange.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    Private Ballez Class with Katy Pyle at Fourth Arts Block or Brooklyn Arts Exchange. This class can be for 1 to 5 friends of your choice!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A limited edition, signed booklet by Zoe Leonard, one of the original inspirational artist/activists for "Sleeping Beauty & the Beast"

    “ladies and gentlemen”
    small artist’s book, signed
    soft cover, stapled booklet, 14 pages
    published by Art Metropole / Little Cockroach Press, 1998 in a run of 1000

    B&W photos of bathroom signs from back in the day when people thought there were only two genders.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    Haircut by Ballez A.D. Katy Pyle! You know Katy loves choreographing, but she also went to beauty school and can cut your hair in your home (or hers) in exchange for your support!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    Private Class for movers and shakers with Khadija Griffith at Brooklyn Arts Exchange or Fourth Arts Block. Inspired by Khadija's movement practices, influenced by her performing career with Fuerza Bruta, David Dorfman, and Ballez!
    This class can be for 2-10 friends of your choice!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    An autographed 8x10 portrait, shot by Elyssa Goodman, of your favorite Ballez dancer, delivered in a Ballez tote bag.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About $200

    5 classes at INCREDIPOLE, the glorious pole-dancing studio owned and operated by Ballez dancer Kirstin Dahmer. These classes can go right into your MINDBODY account at the end of our successful campaign, plus plus either the t-shirt or tote bag, and a Ballez Coloring Book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Signed fierce pussy poster!
    "fierce pussy is a collective of queer women artists. Formed in New York City in 1991 through our immersion in AIDS activism during a decade of increasing political mobilization around gay rights, fierce pussy brought lesbian identity and visibility directly into the streets."

    Signed by current members: Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, Zoe Leonard, and Carrie Yamaoka.

    11"x17"
    paper

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Barre-bar.
    Join us on Great Jones St for a post-rehearsal hang out, plus either the t-shirt or tote bag, and a Ballez Coloring Book.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Weavings made in the show! The very first dance within "Sleeping Beauty & the Beast"is a group weaving dance, in which the cast ACTUALLY makes a circular weaving (composed of wool yarn) with our movements. You can own the effort of our labors, and hang it on your wall, next to your macramé plant hangers. Plus either the t-shirt or tote bag, and a Ballez Coloring Book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  21. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About $500

    Fantastic Ballez Dinner Party at the home of Katy Pyle or Jules Skloot!! Bring your 4 Ballez-loving besties and eat delicious food made by us! Plus either the t-shirt or tote bag, and a Ballez Coloring Book.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  22. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Painting by Molly Yergens, inspiring artist and spouse of Ballez dancer Ashley Yergens.

    "Very Fine, Widely Dispersed"
    Oil on canvas
    22" x 28"
    2012

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  23. Select this reward

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

    Be a part of our Producer's Circle! You'll get the t-shirt, coloring book, tote bag, access to reserved seats for the show, invitations to private rehearsals, as well as a special Dinner!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  24. Select this reward

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

    Wood-block print by Nicole Eisenman, one of the original interviewees and inspirational artists for "Sleeping Beauty & the Beast.

    -"Tiff Crossing the Alborz"
    Woodcut on Paper, Edition of 50
    Image: 24" x 19 3/4"
    Paper: 30" x 22"
    2015

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (31 days)