Ever since I was a child, I had a desire to be a choreographer. I would lock myself in my bedroom for hours playing music, making up steps, writing down ideas, and even sketching costume designs. As I grew older, I began to incorporate friends into my creations. It was not until my junior year of college, though, that I realized I had a strong desire and talent for choreography. Kazuko Hirabayashi, my choreographic mentor, took me under her wing, and with her guidance, I created “Incandescent Paths,” a piece about running one’s own course, chasing a dream, and determination. This brings me to the incredible opportunity I have just recently been given.
I will be presenting my work at the 80th Anniversary of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on July 27th on the new Henry J. Leir Stage at the breathtaking Marcia and Seymour Simon Performance Space, as part of the festival’s Inside/Out series. Jacob’s Pillow has given me my own forty-five minute program, where I’ll present five of my choreographic works. This is an enormous accomplishment for me in my growth and visibility as an artist; however, I am quickly realizing the financial undertaking that is involved in creating and presenting work with a project group of dancers.
Jacob’s Pillow is offering me a generous performance stipend; however, it is not enough to cover the total cost. I am responsible for the transportation to and from Jacob’s Pillow (located in Western Massachusetts) for all sixteen of the dancers who will be performing, as well as providing them with a small performance stipend for all of their time, hard work, and dedication. Additionally, and perhaps most costly, I have to obtain rehearsal space in New York City for our rehearsals leading up to the performance. In order for this opportunity to transpire, I will need to raise $4,000 to cover budgeted expenses.
My work, which takes the form of traditional concert dance, focuses on the artistry and the emotion behind storytelling through movement. I do not look at dance as a spectacle. Instead, I find dance to be an interactive medium. I want people to be moved and to connect with the message, idea, or question that I convey through my work. Some topics that I have explored through my work are HIV/AIDS, peer pressure, and searching for one’s place in the world. I believe that dance can help heal, provide insight and encouragement, and act as a communication outlet in situations where words are not possible.
Often I work on these types of choreographic projects between performing jobs; it is difficult to find the financial support to nurture my choreographic pursuits. With your help, we can accomplish this task together. In order to reach the $4,000 goal, my dancers and I will need your support. I would value any support you can give to help. I am only able to accept monetary donations that are 100% tax deductible; that means, I cannot offer anything in exchange for your donations. However, you are cordially invited to be our guest at our performance at Jacob’s Pillow on Friday, July 27th at 6:15pm. For more information, visit www.JacobsPillow.org. To learn more about me and to view samples of my work, visit www.JeremyMcQueen.com.
**To make an online donation, visit: https://donate.newyorklivearts.org/jeremymcqueen
Thank you for your support!