I do love this new medium even with its many issues. I have never been comfortable with the idea that artists must beg for money before we can even dream of booking a rehearsal space let alone take the great risk of creating something that might fail spectacularly. Crowdfunding feels a bit more genuine when compared to the traditional appeal for grand sums from local businesses or the tried and true donation basket at the end of the show (yes, I believe in this method, but crowdfunding at least gives you the potential to appeal to someone other than your current audience). Crowdfunding often gives you the opportunity to support or be supported in small ways by people who really believe in what you're doing. It's all sorts of inspiring... but...
As someone who can't even pay her own rent at the moment, I am usually forced to ignore the request and try to volunteer for a show to give my support or spring for a ticket. SO, when I was contacted from Fighting Gravity, a group I've never heard of and people I've never ever met, I thought, "Delete, delete, delete...wait... read more...", and I started thinking about what might make me donate, or just become aware of and share about a project that is not in my traditional medium of modern concert dance and not by a company I've followed over the years. So I asked for more information.
Fighting Gravity , described as a "group of fraternity brothers" who perform "mind-bending black light performances from Virginia Tech to America's Got Talent"... "with a show that is by, for, and about our generation" seems to be following all the rules of successful crowdfunding: an exciting look, a catchy message, aggressive marketing, and engagement. I got curious. How'd they get started? Who are their dancers? How'd they end up together? What might my college students, who are interested in much more than just modern concert dance, learn from them? They obliged and gave me the whole story which I have included below. What did they get from me? My interest and, obviously, I'm sharing it with you. It also gives me and my students a little window into what it takes to create and support a show that is meant to please, inspire, wow, and woo the up and coming generation.
As a modern dancer and choreographer, I've taken a lesson from these folks. If you are willing to share a personal story, you get investment of some kind, even if it's word of mouth. And that's gotta be worth something.
Read on for their answers to my many questions and hear the dancers in the show share their thoughts: