Search Party

69 3Arts supporters
$6,445 raised of $5,000 goal
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Erin Kilmurray's project was funded on September 16, 2019
    • 3Arts matched
    • 129% contributed

In a Nutshell

STRETCH GOAL! This is unreal. Endless thanks to all those who have thrown their support behind this project and helped me reach my initial goal. With the time remaining, I’m hoping to raise an additional $1,000 that will go toward unforeseen travel costs and our dreams of presenting another Chicago edition of this work after our Japan residency. For the past two years I have been collaborating with a group of women and queer artists to develop SEARCH PARTY, a live dance work that challenges and reconstructs the boundaries we face by exploring agency, freedom, and expectation. Existing somewhere between a dance floor and a sports arena, this work is wrought from defeat, endurance, compassion, competition, collaboration, and victory—both as individuals and as a collective group. After beginning as an impulsive studio practice erupting out of necessity in the wake of the 2016 elections, this work has since evolved into presentations within homes, at street festivals, bars, and on the Links Hall stage. This October, I have an incredible opportunity to begin exploring how this work lives in new places by bringing SEARCH PARTY abroad as part of a cultural exchange residency between Links Hall and DANCE BOX (dB) based in Kobe, Japan. I am energized by this work and have stayed with it, digging further and working to understand it with each new place, phase, and environment. The opportunity to set this piece outside my hometown, Chicago, let alone in a different country, is a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience that feels like entering through a major threshold for me and my dancers.

Thanks to the support of dB, I have some travel costs covered, but additional funds from this campaign are critical to being able to bring three original cast members and collaborators with me to set and develop the work with three Japanese women over this 16-day residency. Our time there will culminate with a performance at Art Theater dB Kobe on closing night of their international performance festival of experimental dance and theater work, focusing on diversity and new audience engagements.


The Full Story...

As a dancemaker, my process requires creating a studio environment where femme artists can come together to find emotional and physical catharsis, facilitating collaborations with an ensemble based on everyone’s personal experiences. These self-narratives help us to discover our dance together. Performers in my work are encouraged to bring their full selves and their back stories to each piece.

SEARCH PARTY is a piece that asks for full and alive presence from both the audience and the performer. It requires team building inside of the studio and inside of the performance. Working to translate these ideas and practices inside a new and different culture to us feels like the ultimate test of this research. This isn’t just a trip. Funding this project in its next phase will allow me and my collaborators to see how to take my work out of my home circles and into other communities with the purpose of listening and discussing and learning. Bringing this work to Kobe feels like the first step in understanding what it takes to tour this piece.

While in residency in Kobe, we will revisit our creative process, resetting this piece with three local dancers from the dB community and my three original collaborators, Alyssa Gregory, Tia Greer, and Kaitlin Webster, who will be joining me on this journey. There is so much that is uncertain, and the prospect of this learning is a part of what excites me. I have stayed with this work in many phases for two years and it has transformed each time. SEARCH PARTY lays out the truth that this work takes work, and it is about making space for stepping up, stepping aside, stepping in. I am thrilled at the thought of what could be wrought from this--either for the piece itself or how new work could show itself.

Funds from this campaign will cover the costs of travel for these three dancers and simple, daily expenses for this unique opportunity. Not only will this support mean so much to me and these dancers, but we feel this work is important and resonates with audiences near and far. Thank you for helping us share this power.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $10 - Social media shout-out
    ($10.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $35 - Thank you postcard from our trip to Kobe
    ($30.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50 - Personal "SEARCH PARTY" playlist designed for you based on our early process, plus a thank you postcard
    ($45.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100 - Souvenir item from our trip to Kobe, plus a thank you postcard
    ($90.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250 - Window into our creative dancemaking process: a collage from my working notebooks as we research and develop these dances together, plus a thank you postcard
    ($230.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500 - Invitation to a virtual tour of our studio time when we're in Kobe, plus a thank you postcard
    ($495.00 is tax deductible.)
Erin Kilmurray image
Erin Kilmurray is a performer, choreographer, and teaching artist whose work is strongly influenced by dance and performance places acting as creative and social centers. Drawing upon a contemporary dance ...
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