Raissa Simpson’s PUSH Dance Company Builds Vibrant Contemporary Dances To Gain A Deeper Understanding Of The Challenges Attributed To Mixed Heritage.


In Conversation with Andi Salazar

PUSH Dance Company is proud to present choreography by Andi Salazar on September 20-22, 2019 for PUSHfest Program C at ODC Theater in San Francisco. 


Tell us a little bit about your dance background.
I have been dancing since the age of 3 years old. I started dancing Ballet but on the way I fell in love with Modern and Contemporary dance and since then I have combined both styles. I grew up combining studies and my passion for dance, practicing every day and participating in every occasion that I could be on stage. At the age of 19 I started my own company – Kaze Dance Company, which was my main project for 8 years until I decided to come to the Bay Area to get my MFA at Mills College in 2017.

What can audiences look forward to seeing in your work at PUSHfest?
They can expect energy, strength and passion on stage. Our main purpose is to create an experience for the audience, involve and invite them into our world and tell them a story they can relate to. We want to make them feel something.

What are the major sources of inspiration for your choreography?
I would say I find my inspiration in life itself, in different experiences I have lived, and in the way my dancers can relate to that experience. In general, we initiate the process with a concept and from there we start sharing meaning and discover the way we want to embodied those feelings, sensations and experiences in our choreographic work. I am very interested in social justice too and in the vindication of marginalized identities and in the exposure of unfair situations on today’s society.

If you hadn’t chosen this career, what might you have been doing in your life?
Actually, I am a sociologist too, so, if I was not dancing I would be studying society and finding ways to contribute in some way to try to make society a better place. In fact, that is what I have been trying to do with my choreographic work during my whole career as a dancer, because I truly believe in the power of social transformation of dance.

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?
Always believe in yourself, keep trying, and follow your dreams!!!!