You're given a headset. You enter the designed maze as yourself, and then you're given a role within the dance. As if reading a novel, you step to the center of the experience, but here, unlike reading, your choices affect the chemistry of your interactions and the trajectory of your journey. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities,” and Luis Borges’ short story “The Garden of Forking Paths,” The Garden is about the power of your perspective.
In 2011 the Knight Foundation awarded Nichole Canuso Dance Company an Arts Challenge Grant to make The Garden, and we couldn't be more grateful. Out of the 71 grants made by Knight to art projects in Philadelphia over the past two years, ours remains one of the few original dance projects to be awarded. We're proud, but we're not quite finished...
The Knight Art Challenge is a matching grant and we need your help to receive their funding.
Help us transform this:
...into a maze of bodies and images for you to explore.
We're designing an event to be experienced, not a performance to be watched.
The Creative Team:
- Choreographer & Director, Nichole Canuso
- Composition & Sound Design, Michael Kiley and James Sugg
- Writer, Anna McDonald
- Set Design, Anna Kiraly
- Costume Design, Tara Webb
- Production Manager, Megan Thibodeaux
- Performers: Nichole Canuso, Eun Jung Choi, Scott McPheeters, John Luna, Les Rivera, Annie Wilson
The Garden premieres November 1-23, 2013 with sneak peek previews scheduled for April, August and September. A limited number of people can enter this experience each evening, so it is our goal to extend our performance run for as many weeks as our budget allows.
Risks and challenges
We are very grateful that The Garden has found a few key supporters over the past year, one of which is The Knight Foundation. The Knight Arts Challenge Grant awards us $50,000, as long as we're able to match those funds from other sources. That's where you come in! We're almost there, but we just need to raise $10,000 more to fully match the Knight grant so we can make The Garden a reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The Garden is a twelve-person event. Six of those people are rehearsed performers, and six of those people are viewers new to the experience.
Audience participation often implies that you join in a portion of a performance that’s being witnessed by the rest of the audience. In The Garden there is no "audience". Each one of the six viewers is on their own journey. They spend time alone, with the performers, and with the other viewers.
The Garden does NOT take place in an actual garden. It takes place in a basement in Old City Philadelphia. It’s a beautiful cavernous space directly under the Ben Franklin bridge on-ramp on 2nd street. The title comes from a Jorge Luis Borges short story, “The Garden of Forking Paths.”
In “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino, Marco Polo describes beautifully impossible cities in great poetic detail. It turns out he’s describing the same city over and over again, each time through a different filter. We wanted to make a work that looked at the “multiple cities of self” we carry around with us. Each section of The Garden is designed to invite a specific relationship to being in a body, in movement, in space, in memory.
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