Quicksilver has just been awarded its biggest grant yet: a $5,000 matching grant from the East Bay Community Foundation’s Fund for Artists! But there's a catch... we only receive this support if we also raise $5,000 from supporters like you before August 15, 2017!
Thus, please consider donating today to take advantage of this unique opportunity for your generosity to be doubled and to make a tremendous impact on Quicksilver this year! You can donate online by visiting our page on Fractured Atlas.
Assuming we make the match, Quicksilver will put all $10,000 towards the creation of our newest dance, Children of Hobbes, which will premiere at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, CA on November 17-19, 2017. Children of Hobbes is an intimate dystopia exploring the 'ugly, brutish and short' side of human relationships as revealed in the 2016 election. Aesthetically inspired by the understated style and subtlety found in Japanese artwork, this dance investigates finding complex composition within pared-down movement, while examining the dark social truths and rays of hope in a dog-eat-dog world.
We will be updating this site with blogs from Mariah and the company detailing our creative process and the progress of the piece throughout the next several months. We hope you'll check back frequently and join us on this journey! If you'd like to receive updates by e-mail, please join our mailing list; and don't forget to follow us on Facebook!
Plus: if you donate $100 or more, we will thank you with two free tickets to the premiere!
As always, Quicksilver remains committed to paying our dancers a professional wage: we respect their commitment to our work and value their skill and professionalism. Most dancers work several part-time jobs in order to make time to perform and hone their skills as dancers. Paying them for rehearsals allows them to invest more fully in their craft, resulting in higher quality performances and more adept artists.
Of course, living this value doesn't come cheap. With paying four dancers $12/hour and studio space rentals costing $16/hour, a single rehearsal costs Quicksilver nearly $200. Compound this number over a year of rehearsals, and you can imagine how quickly costs add up! And then there's the show: renting the theater for the performances alone costs over $2,000, hiring a lighting designer another $1,000, plus costumes, print advertisements and documenting the work in video and photographs, which are vital for winning new grants.
As you can see, your donation has a huge impact on our creative process, and donating even $12 is a great way to show that you value dance at the local level.
We are proud that the East Bay Community Foundation’s support firmly establishes Quicksilver within the arts ecosystem of our new home. Quicksilver is excited to use EBCF’s recognition to reach new audiences, making high-caliber dance more accessible within the East Bay. Thus, we hope you will donate today and help us claim this matching grant! Your support will lift Quicksilver to new heights as we leap into our new community.
2017 Creative Process Blog
April 24, 2017
Children of Hobbes began with a very abstract idea, but has since evolved into a compelling story of survival in a dog-eat-dog world. For each new section, we start with improvisations in which the dancers have only five choices: walk at different tempos, change levels, stop, enter or exit. This paring-down of movement highlights spatial relationships, giving the distance and shape between dancers added significance. I then watch the films of these improvisations, selecting interesting “units” for the dancers to re-learn in rehearsal. Eventually, we sequence the units together, and layer more movement on top of or in between the structures originally conceived through improvisation.
One of the most exciting aspects of this creative process has been watching how beginning with abstraction can actually lead to very human themes. Indeed, I see my role as choreographer for this piece partly as a “seer” (or specifically, a “see-er”): my job is to see what emotions, relationships and themes are living beneath the surface – in a single look, a gesture, a clump of bodies – within an improvisation. The choreography then becomes a microscope that magnifies the improvisation’s themes so that they become visible and more fleshed out in the final dance. In other words, I did not set out to make a dance about the darker side of human nature; rather, it just happened.
Except that, of course, it didn’t “just happen.” Given that this creative process started in October 2016, I believe our psyches in the studio were primed by all of the corrosive dominance-plays and power imbalances unearthed by the presidential election. What we were seeing and feeling and parsing out in the world around us entered the improvisations and became the most compelling units to be selected on video. Indeed, after inauguration day, the focus of the group’s improvisations took a turn: they developed a sense of urgency for survival, community and support, all of which has seeped into our latest section.
For years, most of my dances have started with a clear idea, such as “I want to make a dance about X or Y.” How miraculous – and humbling – to find that starting in abstraction has allowed for the dance that wants to be made to find us.