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 Annie Kahane

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


Tell us a little bit about your dance background.
After earning undergraduate degrees in Dance & Poetry, I worked with the dance theater company Striding Lion Performance Group and with Piel Morena Contemporary Dance, both in Chicago. Since returning home to the Bay Area in 2011, dance credits include Aura Fishbeck Dance, Garrett & Moulton Productions, LEVYdance & James Graham Dance Theater. I think of myself as a theater-maker who works with dancers and prioritizes movement. I began presenting this kind of performance in 2014, and since then have self-produced five evenings of work that combine movement, text and song. 

What can audiences look forward to seeing in your work at PUSHfest
Humanity. Authenticity. Original language combined with movement.

Photo by Annie Kahane

What are the major sources of inspiration for your choreography
Inner life – human joy & human pain equally. Other art – music, poems. My collaborators. 

If you hadn’t chosen this career, what might you have been doing in your life?
Being a teacher. 

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?
Listen to your instincts – it’s a deeply personal experience. Don’t worry too much what others think of you or how you compare. Plan ahead with the logistical stuff so you can focus on the art itself and you don’t get stressed out being an administrator. Try to be positive and kind regardless of the situation. Ask for feedback and listen closely. 

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