NEW EDGE presents
a work for dance, music, and text
“However long it takes to reach each other’s shores.”
-Karl Jensen, All This We’re Each Forced Into; Private Painful Insight
YEAR OF THE SNAKE is a work conceived by three bay area artists: composer Jason Hoopes, choreographer Peiling Kao, and writer/visual artist Karl Jensen. The three elements that make up Year Of The Snake include the choreography, a physical record of the music (available November 15th), and a book compiled of writing and imagery composed specifically for this work (also available November 15th).
Year Of The Snake is a metaphor for “cycles of self-transformation”. In an age of hyper-competition and dependent convenience, we lose sight of the personal process and power of self-transformation, and what it takes to enter the process. What it takes to enter the process has much to do with Empathy.
Empathy is a practice. We have to do it for it to be. This requires vulnerability, which requires strength, through courage. These things are in turn built upon positive learning experiences, even as we accept that learning includes an element of trauma; transformation is traumatic.
Self-transformation concerns the application of the Will upon processes which are already in motion, and always have been. We die. Birth, death – same door. Knowing this, what do we see? Knowing this, what do we want? And what are we doing about it? We have a chance to participate in the shaping, the form, of our own transformation. But it is something we each experience alone or not at all. Such solitude is traumatic. Empathy is the Will acting to harness the inward power of Solitude and send it outward, opening toward, defining space, leaving useful room, useful because empty. Sometimes we practice Empathy in front of a mirror; be gentle with yourself as you shed skin.
We are reaching out to you, and you may choose to reach back in many forms, all valuable. To financially support this project is not only to help pay theater fees, promotion costs, CD and book duplication costs, and travel, but also (and most important) fees for three professional dance artists and twelve musicians.
As personal perspective changes, the traumatic shedding of old skin, and the acceptance of new forms of understanding, provide useful lessons for compassionately ushering in needed societal progress. You never have a finite number of chances to become, and your becoming helps others do the same. You’re not invited. You’re inside. It is not as important to get the message as it is to send it. You are invited. This is the spirit of this work.
Thank you for listening.
Jason Hoopes is a bassist, composer, and teacher living in Oakland, CA. His work as bassist with several progressive bay area bands includes Jack O’ The Clock, Fred Frith Trio, Eat The Sun, Dominique Leone, The Atomic Bomb Audition, powerdove, and Satya Sena among others. Jason has composed music for modern choreographers Molissa Fenley, Alyce Finwall, Sophia Leiby, and others as well as Peiling Kao, with whom he’s performed since 2009. His work for dance has been performed both nationally and internationally. He holds a MA in composition, and MFA in Performance & Literature, from Mills College.
Peiling Kao was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and has been a freelance dancer for 16 years. After graduating from Taipei National University of the Arts in 1996 with a BFA in Dance, Peiling worked as a full-time teacher at Cloud Gate Dance School in Taiwan. She has studied technique training in ballet, contemporary, various forms of modern dance, Chinese Traditional Dance, Chinese Martial Art, Tai- chi, improvisation, and contact improvisation.
In 2007, Peiling was awarded the Taiwan-England artists’ residency, hosted by the Independent Dance based at Siobhan Davis Studios in London;in 2010,Peiling finished her MFA in Choreography and Performance at Mills College, receiving an E.L Wiegand Foundation Award for excellence in performance and choreography. In 2012, she awarded Isadora Duncan Dance Awards in category of Outstanding Achievement in Performance for the collaborative work entitled Terra Incognita: Revisited. Peiling was also awarded an Artist in Residency (AIR) at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in the Fall 2012.
Since moving to the US, Peiling has taught dance at Mills College, Austin Peay State University, and Chinese American International School as a visiting artist. Peiling’s work has been presented at Austin Peay State University, The Garage and the Luggage Store Gallery in SF, and Temescal Art Center and Mills College in Oakland.
Peiling currently dances with Molissa Fenley and Company, Shinichi Iova-Koga’s InkBoat, and Katie Faulkner’s Little Seismic Dance Company. Among the artists/dance professionals that she worked with are: Mary Anthony, Susan Rethorst, Brenda Way, Sonya Delwaide, Sean Curran, Ross Parkes, Hwai-Min Lin (Founder of Cloud Gate Dance Theater), Men-Fei Lo, Min-Shen Ku, Susan Van Pelt, Anne Bluethenthal, Nancy Lyons, Nina Haft, Christy Funsch, and Alyce Finwall.
Karl Jensen is an Oakland based writer and visual artist, and is the founder of Vasculiterra Books. His stories have been published in numerous national literary journals and magazines, and he has dropped out of just as many colleges across that same, broad nation. He has held the distinct honors of work as a grave digger, ditch digger, security guard, assembly line laborer, house painter, librarian, land title examiner, and in construction, in demolition, for banks on Wall Street, for bars in Arkansas, as a movie extra in India and as an English teacher in Bangladesh. His writing and aesthetic are informed by and are a result of these and other such rewarding and prestigious careers. He currently works in San Francisco with at-risk youth, and is interested in the possibilities at the intersections of Public Health and Literature, Social Change and Art, Dance and Urban Community.
PEILING KAO (choreographer)
Jennifer Rannells – singing voice
Text and Visual Images by Karl Jensen
Mortality is the One Great Teacher, the source of all action and all inaction. Our solution to bearing the weight of this acknowledgment lies in experiencing transformation willfully, what we’ll call Feardeath; the re-illumination of fearful shadows cast when our light strikes objects we’ve allowed constructed in our minds. These shadows resist our becoming. These are the shadows cast by I Can’t, I Should/Shouldn’t, and I Know. We want to dissolve these shadows with the lights of I Can, I May, and I Do Not Know. We will cast new shadows. The process continues. Shedding skin. You will do it, or it will be done to you.
Thank you for listening.Thank you for your time and energy. Be well.