"However long it takes to reach each other's shores."
-Karl Jensen, All This We're Each Forced Into; Private Painful Insight
YEAR OF THE SNAKE is a work conceived by three bay area artists: composer Jason Hoopes, choreographer Peiling Kao, and writer/visual artist Karl Jensen. The three elements that make up Year Of The Snake include the choreography, a physical record of the music (available November 15th), and a book compiled of writing and imagery composed specifically for this work (also available November 15th).
Year Of The Snake is a metaphor for “cycles of self-transformation”. In an age of hyper-competition and dependent convenience, we lose sight of the personal process and power of self-transformation, and what it takes to enter the process. What it takes to enter the process has much to do with Empathy.
Empathy is a practice. We have to do it for it to be. This requires vulnerability, which requires strength, through courage. These things are in turn built upon positive learning experiences, even as we accept that learning includes an element of trauma; transformation is traumatic.
Self-transformation concerns the application of the Will upon processes which are already in motion, and always have been. We die. Birth, death - same door. Knowing this, what do we see? Knowing this, what do we want? And what are we doing about it? We have a chance to participate in the shaping, the form, of our own transformation. But it is something we each experience alone or not at all. Such solitude is traumatic. Empathy is the Will acting to harness the inward power of Solitude and send it outward, opening toward, defining space, leaving useful room, useful because empty. Sometimes we practice Empathy in front of a mirror; be gentle with yourself as you shed skin.
We are reaching out to you, and you may choose to reach back in many forms, all valuable. To financially support this project is not only to help pay theater fees, promotion costs, CD and book duplication costs, and travel, but also (and most important) fees for three professional dance artists and twelve musicians.
As personal perspective changes, the traumatic shedding of old skin, and the acceptance of new forms of understanding, provide useful lessons for compassionately ushering in needed societal progress. You never have a finite number of chances to become, and your becoming helps others do the same. You're not invited. You're inside. It is not as important to get the message as it is to send it. You are invited. This is the spirit of this work.
Thank you for listening.
Jason Hoopes is a bassist, composer, and teacher living in Oakland, CA. His work as bassist with several progressive bay area bands includes Jack O' The Clock, Fred Frith Trio, Eat The Sun, Dominique Leone, The Atomic Bomb Audition, powerdove, and Satya Sena among others. Jason has composed music for modern choreographers Molissa Fenley, Alyce Finwall, Sophia Leiby, and others as well as Peiling Kao, with whom he's performed since 2009. His work for dance has been performed both nationally and internationally. He holds a MA in composition, and MFA in Performance & Literature, from Mills College.
Peiling Kao was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and has been a freelance dancer for 16 years. After graduating from Taipei National University of the Arts in 1996 with a BFA in Dance, Peiling worked as a full-time teacher at Cloud Gate Dance School in Taiwan. She has studied technique training in ballet, contemporary, various forms of modern dance, Chinese Traditional Dance, Chinese Martial Art, Tai- chi, improvisation, and contact improvisation.
In 2007, Peiling was awarded the Taiwan-England artists’ residency, hosted by the Independent Dance based at Siobhan Davis Studios in London;in 2010,Peiling finished her MFA in Choreography and Performance at Mills College, receiving an E.L Wiegand Foundation Award for excellence in performance and choreography. In 2012, she awarded Isadora Duncan Dance Awards in category of Outstanding Achievement in Performance for the collaborative work entitled Terra Incognita: Revisited. Peiling was also awarded an Artist in Residency (AIR) at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in the Fall 2012.
Since moving to the US, Peiling has taught dance at Mills College, Austin Peay State University, and Chinese American International School as a visiting artist. Peiling’s work has been presented at Austin Peay State University, The Garage and the Luggage Store Gallery in SF, and Temescal Art Center and Mills College in Oakland.
Peiling currently dances with Molissa Fenley and Company, Shinichi Iova-Koga’s InkBoat, and Katie Faulkner’s Little Seismic Dance Company. Among the artists/dance professionals that she worked with are: Mary Anthony, Susan Rethorst, Brenda Way, Sonya Delwaide, Sean Curran, Ross Parkes, Hwai-Min Lin (Founder of Cloud Gate Dance Theater), Men-Fei Lo, Min-Shen Ku, Susan Van Pelt, Anne Bluethenthal, Nancy Lyons, Nina Haft, Christy Funsch, and Alyce Finwall.
Karl Jensen is an Oakland based writer and visual artist, and is the founder of Vasculiterra Books. His stories have been published in numerous national literary journals and magazines, and he has dropped out of just as many colleges across that same, broad nation. He has held the distinct honors of work as a grave digger, ditch digger, security guard, assembly line laborer, house painter, librarian, land title examiner, and in construction, in demolition, for banks on Wall Street, for bars in Arkansas, as a movie extra in India and as an English teacher in Bangladesh. His writing and aesthetic are informed by and are a result of these and other such rewarding and prestigious careers. He currently works in San Francisco with at-risk youth, and is interested in the possibilities at the intersections of Public Health and Literature, Social Change and Art, Dance and Urban Community.
DETAIL + THANKS
The goal we've set for this public funding campaign comes with a list of spending priorities.
The first thing we want to be sure we can do is pay the artists who helped us bring this work to life. We enlisted the aid of fifteen trained and professional local artists. They've all been so generous. Contributions will be proritized toward paying these people.
After artist fees, the next significant expense is the rental fee for the venue. Monies from ticket sales will also go toward this cost. Due to limited seating for thus far only a 3-day run, ticket sales alone will not cover our expenses. This is why the goal we've set here is just below the actual cost to us; it is intended to buffer income from tickets. To offer a modest thank you, the pieces of work outlined in the next financial priority are available as "perks" in this campaign.
The next financial priorities are the production costs for the musical record, the book of original text, and imagery. Year Of The Snake presents three pieces of work composed around the same theme(s). In addition to Peiling's choreographed performance, Jason has produced a physical and digital record of his hour-length score, intended to be available as a stand alone work. The seeds of this work are really found in Karl's writing, and he has produced a book of original writing and imagery composed specifically in tandem with Peiling's and Jason's visions. For perspective, the cost of music production alone will reach $2000.
Please note: The "perks" are set up in a range relationship. For instance, donate between $10 and $49 and receive the first "perk", donate between $50 and $75 and receive the second, etc.
You may also choose to decline "perks" and to donate anonymously. You may donate any amount you wish.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to leave a web link with us to promote on our website along with your name, in thanks. (We do reserve the right to use discretion when approving web links).
Thank you for listening.
There are so many artists all around the world making such important work. Why support this project? That's only answerable by you. We all invest energy in many forms where ever we feel it will be best used.
To invest in our work is to invest in sincere and sober efforts to engage Empathy as a practice. This is something present in all three of our work trajectories; to strip away cleverness and entertainment, and touch what is pulsing just beneath the surface, what we all share. Think of an enemy - yes, them too.
Many technological forces we've created in the world isolate and dislocate us from each other, through the guise of convenient access. Empathy is one of the early casualties. We want to invest in its practice and value. We're all here. Cycle. Self-transformation. You have power. You are not alone in your aloneness. Neither am I in mine.
Thank you for listening.
SUPPORT IN MANY FORMS
If you are unable to contribute financially, you may choose to help us spread the word. Please feel free to use the Indiegogo "share" features and tell your friends and family about the project. We must transform alone, but no one expresses work like this alone.
As you share this project funding campaign with loved ones, please tell them also that they are seen and accepted.
Thank you for listening.
Jason, Peiling, Karl