Goodnight War – A Danced Funeral For War, Plants Seeds of Peace

Goodnight War is the latest and most extensive manifestation of an ongoing project by Katherine Kiefer Stark and her company, The Naked Stark. Through the framework of a funeral, the evening length performance examines how and why we support war in our everyday lives. On April 19-21, the company will fill the soaring sanctuary at Broad Street Ministry with reflections, eulogies, and tough personal questions. Performances at 7:30pm on Thursday and Friday, and 4:30pm and 7:30 pm on Saturday at Broad Street Ministry, 315 S. Broad Street. Tickets are $8-$12 and can be purchased at www.thenakedstark.com/goodnight-war.

Goodnight War invites audiences into an intimate, communal space where they join the performers in reflecting on war and asking “If war was gone, what would I miss?” Seven dancers and a large ensemble embody the nuances and complications around this subject as they construct and deconstruct, make messes, eulogize war, and delve into intense physicality. As they celebrate and mourn the passing of war, they are accompanied by live music by Paul Stern and folk singer Chana Rothman.

Personal movement statements performed by Katherine Kiefer Stark are woven through the larger ensemble sections. Turning her focus inward, she reflects on how motherhood has shaped the way she thinks about war, examines her own shortcomings, and asks herself, thereby prompting others to ask themselves, “What can I do to make peace?”

Framing the performance as a funeral for war is a useful tool for examining ourselves and our culture, but it is also brings audiences and performers together into a powerful symbolic ceremony. Though the piece deals in nuance and doubt, Goodnight War ultimately creates a space where we must at least pretend that it is possible for war to end. By living in this reality for an evening, audiences and performers are offered the opportunity and the challenge to come together and lay war to rest for good.

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Katherine Kiefer Stark (Artistic Director / Dancer) is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher committed to the belief that the world is socially constructed and that we create rather than merely discover its significances.  This philosophy is the driving force behind her work.  While dealing with serious themes, Katherine has a quirky sense of humor and enjoys adding this layer into her work. Katherine received her BA in dance in 2002 from Connecticut College and her MFA in Choreography in 2009 from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Katherine’s work has been presented by One Arm Red, American Dance Festival’s Acts to Follow, Choreo Collective, the Goose Route Dance Festival, the Asheville Fringe Festival, the Greensboro Fringe Festival, the Fringe Wilmington Festival, Last Mondays, and the Etc. Performance Series.  Katherine has danced in Connecticut, Philadelphia, New York, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and throughout North Carolina performing contemporary work by various choreographers including John Gamble, Courtney Greer, Lacy James, Luis Lara Malvacias, Meredith Monk, Deganit Shemy, Christina Tsoules Soriano, and BJ Sullivan.  She has been a member of CTS Dance, the John Gamble Dance Theatre, and Immediate Theatre – an improvisation collective directed by Katherine Ferrier – as well as collaborating with Courtney Greer.

Katherine taught contemporary dance, dance appreciation, and introduction to dance as a teaching assistant at UNCG.  Katherine has been a guest artist at Enloe High School and the University of Texas, El Paso.  Katherine enjoys teaching release technique at Philly PARD.

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