Help Bring Dance to Austin!

My name is Emily Kessler and I’m very excited to announce to you my acceptance into the Austin Dance Festival!

Sienna Blaw, Anna Hooper, Ashley Merker, Kathryn Taylor, Lauren Twomley, Madeline Robertson and I will all be traveling to Austin, Texas to participate in the Austin Dance Festival from April 6th-8th.  We will be restaging my senior thesis project, Starlings Murmuration. The piece was selected by a panel of dance professionals from across the country from a large pool of applicants for 20 coveted spots. We will be presenting the work alongside other industry professionals, many of whom will also travel across the country to participate. This opportunity will help myself and my colleagues to bridge the gap between student and professional. It brings our SUNY Purchase grown work to a platform that will showcase our talents and highlight our school.

The festival is a national platform that will allow the current and recent students to be recognized at a professional level of dance. It will provide exposure for myself as a budding choreographer, and to the dancers in this work. It will allow us to be seen by a community that we otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. The festival also provides an opportunity for the dancers and myself to meet with other professionals in the field, helping to expand our collective networks. We will have the opportunity to participate in master classes, interact with industry professionals, and showcase ourselves and the work we made together.

Starlings Murmuration was made in a highly collaborative process at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. This piece is as much mine as it is the dancer’s. Every person involved played a critical role in it’s creation. With rehearsals every week, we were able to delve into a creative process that stretched us and helped us grow as individuals. The process took 5 months, in which we had the opportunity to collaborate with other students on the Purchase campus. I worked with Conservatory of Music Graduates Eric Shekerjian and Hannah Thompson who made an original score for the piece. The work that they put into this project even exceeds our time in the studio rehearsing. Without them, this work would not exist. I also worked with Conservatory of Dance Graduate Hannah Bianchi on lighting design. She made something fresh and unique for this project that raised it from the student to the professional. Without the hard work and community surrounding this work, we wouldn't be presenting on the same level we are now.

This gofundme campaign was created to fund this opportunity for seven women - four recent graduates, and three current students. Up until this point, we have been working through other channels to raise money for our travel and expenses. Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful in reaching amounts that will help us reach our goal. This is where we turn to you for your support! The main expense we are looking for help with is flight costs. The total cost for round trip flights to the festival for all seven of the dancers is upwards of $2050. Other costs we have incurred are those related to traveling to and from rehearsals and rehearsal space. Coming out to around $350 in total studio rental and travel costs. I am a recent college grad, and do not have the funds to be able to support our tour alone. We are hoping to raise this money by the day of our show, April 7th 2018! We are very lucky to have been offered places to stay and transportation to and from the festival, so our main concern is with getting there!

This work is very personal to me - it is the end product of four years of hard work in the conservatory setting, and it’s creation is one of my proudest accomplishments to this date. I have dreams of dancing and choreographing on a larger scale, and this festival is a stepping stone to those future visions. Any contribution helps us reach our goal. Thank you for time and love, we greatly appreciate your support!!

Every person who donates to this campaign will receive a video link to the performance in Austin after it has been made available to us.

Much love,

Emily Kessler 

Learn more:
Austin Dance Festival and Line Up
  • Chris Meyer 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Martina Kasumovich 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Adriana Jimenez 
    • $40 
    • 42 mos
  • Jen Markworth 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Victor Catano 
    • $10 
    • 42 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Starlings Murmuration (2)

Emily Kessler 
Raised $820 from 16 donations
Brooklyn, NY
Lauren Twomley 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
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