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This project was successfully funded on April 13, 2013

Paradisiacal Rites

by Ryan Mitchell


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Hello. We are very excited to introduce our performance company Saint Genet - a body politic of more than 30 dèclassès ranging from choreographers, photographers, visual artists, actors, and ballerinas to carpenters, bike messengers, doom metal impresarios, master composers, singers, dramaturgs, and archers. We have produced works locally, nationally, and internationally in spaces ranging from traditional theatres to seedy motels, half destroyed flophouses and expansive, abandoned warehouses. Through extensive physical training and experimentation, durational performance, and exploration of altered states we seek to transform the banal into the sacred; to explore new images of the divine.

“Paradisiacal Rites”, our newest and most ambitious show yet, transforms elements of ballet, symphony, opera, installation, and body-based performance art into holistic and hypnotic, virtuosic and visceral performances. Fueled by American Hysteria, the illusion of nationalism, by blood booze and bands, our performances morph, through varying ecstatic states, between the horrific and the sublime. "Paradisiacal Rites"  will premiere at the Donau Festival in Austria in April, return home to Seattle for our May 16th - 19th U.S. premiere at On the Boards in Seattle. After the US debut, we will tour to the Luminato Festival in Toronto for our Canadian premiere in 2014.

This process began with a residency in Mighty Tieton, Washington where Saint Genet hosted a number of artists, choreographers, and dancers to work intensely on developing new performative modes and movement. We continued development with a series of Aesthetic Declarations; extensive evening length performative and installatory sketches housed in the shell of a former contemporary art gallery. “Paradisiacal Rites” has been germinating for over 2 years. This generative process has included ritual meals for the company and the public, 4 individual performances, fundraisers, and a cassette release (with partners Publicide, Inc. and Trench Art Records) of music commissioned for the Aesthetic Declarations - along with hundreds of hours of work from designers, dancers, dramaturgs, materials researchers, grantwriters and the director.

Saint Genet, being of nothing and possessing nothing, wishes to give everything we have. With the support of local, national, and international agencies and some visionary individual investors, we have been able to present our work either for free or for minimal sliding scale donations of $5 -$15.  However, for a project of this size and scope we depend on the generous, passionate, brave, and curious people like YOU to to ensure that this work can come alive.  

Saint Genet needs to raise $25,000 to continue this project. We have already invested over $15,000 developing the critical and dramaturgical framework for “Paradisiacal Rites” and have partnered with On the Boards, Donau Festival, and Luminato to ensure proper venues for the debut of this exciting new American work. We have worked tirelessly with our body politic to choreograph and build this incredible show - we need your help to bring it to life.

Your generous support will support 40 artists - modern dancers, ballerinas, photographers, choreographers, actors, sculptors, and one opera singer working day and night to create “Paradisiacal Rites.” Donations will ensure we can support our musicians and composer with the highest quality sound equipment, and provide technical and video support to create a truly immersive performance environment. Your contribution with help create massive kinetic sculptural installations of unimagined complexity and beauty by Casey Curran. Finally, your contribution will ensure that this project succeeds by providing international travel for 19 artists, which will allow us to premiere the work at the Donau Festival in April of this year.

In the event we over fund this project, we will be able to pay our administrators - the director, stage manager, art director, technical advisor, lighting designer and many friends and colleagues who have donated countless hours to realize this epic project. Overfunding will also allow Saint Genet to further expand the scope of the US debut - allowing us greater scale for installations, for example purchasing supplies for and creating 10,000 stalks of woollen wheat instead of 5,000 as is currently budgeted.

Whatever level of funding we reach, we believe deeply in this work, and realize it would not be possible without your help. Thank you for your consideration.

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