“This is a little bit difficult to explain. Your sister has turned into a lion.”

by Megan Kurashige

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HELLO, DEAR FRIENDS.

We’ve been working on a new project (number 7!) since January and we feel like it’s time to tell all of you, our dear and excellent friends, about it.

Sharp & Fine
new work
Premiere: December 7-9, 2017
ODC Theater, San Francisco

“This is a little bit difficult to explain. Your sister has turned into a lion.”

An evening-length piece about two sisters and what happens when one of them turns into a lion. Directed and choreographed by sisters Megan & Shannon Kurashige, with a script devised by the cast and an original score by Jordan Glenn.

Dancers: 
Chelsea Reichert, Megan Kurashige, Sarah Woods-LaDue, Shannon Kurashige, Sonja Dale

Composer:
Jordan Glenn

Opera Singer:
Ina Woods

This piece doesn’t have a name yet. We are terrible at making up and choosing titles. It took us a long time to even figure out what the piece might be about, or what kind of thing it could be. We started with three ladies–Chelsea Reichert, Sarah Woods-LaDue, and Sonja Dale–who are each brilliant dancers, artists of great and wonderfully strange imaginations, and dear friends who we very much like to spend time with. We wanted to make something up out of nothing with these wonderful people, so we went into the studio and tried a bunch of things.

It was scary. Of course it was scary. We’ve never done a piece without some kind of outside force pushing us toward a story or a theme. We spent the first half of the year wandering in the wilds of too much possibility, occasionally taking refuge in the joy of just making up crazy difficult movement. We wrote things, we pretended to jump into cold water, we tried to figure out how to run on each others bodies. But we didn’t have a story. And we really wanted to tell a story with this one.

Then, inspired by our friend Tristan Ching Hartmann (a dancer and writer and generous teacher of both at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance), we decided to write about what kind of animal you would be, if your heart were an animal. We discovered that Shannon would be a donkey, Sarah would be an otter, Sonja would be a rat, and Megan would be a fox.

And, quite stunningly, Chelsea would be a lion.

We had to use it. It was too good not to use. So, we had the first key to our story: Chelsea would be a lion.

Making up the story is still scary. We spend a lot of time in the studio talking and scribbling in the old-school composition notebooks that Shannon picked up at a variety store and feeling like we’re not quite sure how to do what we’re doing. But, something is starting to emerge and we’re happy with its hazy outlines.

Some more things:

We are starting up the S&F blog again. You can read it via Wordpress or Tumblr (we realize that you’re reading this on WordPress now). There’s so much stuff floating around this piece–opera, writing, masks, telephones, walls, grass, Hopper paintings–and we think it’s going to be nice to share a bit of it. We’re also posting a lot of videos on Instagram and Facebook.

The Fermentation Lab: A Tasting and Performance. September 16, 7pm, San Francisco. We are delighted to be part of The Fermentation Lab, a new kind of theatrical experience brought to life by Theatre of Yugen and the US/Japan Cultural Trade Network. For the first public exhibition of the Lab, S&F will be performing alongside master koto player Shoko Hikage. Audience members will also get to taste delicious little dishes created by Eri Shimizu of AEDAN Fermented Foods (AEDAN is AMAZING. We are completely obsessed with their miso and natto). We are so honored to be part of this project and excited about its upcoming events in September and December. You can make a reservation for the September 16th event via the Theatre of Yugen website.

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More soon…

We’re hoping to write to you more during this project. There’s so much that we’re trying to cram into it and we want to share some of everything with you.

With fondness, as ever,
Megan & Shannon Kurashige
Sharp & Fine

photo: Shannon Kurashige // dancers: Sarah Woods-LaDue & Chelsea Reichert

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