Pairings is a three day event that will be produced at Arts on Site at St. Marks Square in November 2019. In the space of an evening, we propose to invite twenty audience members to cook and eat and clean up a meal. The place is a familiar kitchen and the five performers are a mixture of close friends and recent additions. The evening progresses with a series of disruptions that break the time and space of the kitchen. Triggers such as pounding, washing, tearing reveal moments of trauma in the performers' lives that exist in parallel or in direct conflict with the dinner party. The reveal underneath the experiment is that we, those that gather to share a meal, are not pillars of psychic/emotional/physical stability as we might project to those that we are usually with - but instead we are thin bags of shattered glass that can easily tear open. The experiment seeks create a space of healing and connection with the audience, as well as an invitation for shared vulnerability.
The event will be collectively created among an ensemble of collaborators based on three workshops. The first two workshops were three-day events in upstate new york in the summer and fall of 2018. We are fundraising for a week-long workshop in the summer of 2019 where we will continue our experiments and invite a trauma scholar to be in conversation with our work. Some of the money will be used to build a set and transport it to New York. The ensemble is composed of a composer, designer, director, and five performers who range from a Broadway actor to a contemporary dancer. The workshop and New York performances cost $19,000 together. Of that, we have two donors who are committed to $3700 and if we sell out, another $2,250 will come out of ticket sales. Each ensemble member has committed to raising $1,625 to get us to the total.
The performance in November of 2019 is an opportunity to share our work with an audience and create the next step in the exploration. The combination of design, movement, storytelling, music, and food embraces the body of performer and audience in shared space. How do we make present the parts of ourselves that we normally hide?