PUSH

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

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Get to Know Ashley Gayle

PUSH Dance Company and Bayview Opera House present the world premiere of The Motley Experiment by Raissa Simpson March 27-29 at Bayview Opera House in San Francisco. The evening-length, multimedia dance work inspired by Jazz-age Modernist and Harlem Renaissance figure Archibald Motley features original music composed and performed live by Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids

What is it like to work with Raissa Simpson?

I really enjoy working with Raissa, she’s a very thoughtful choreographer in the sense that the inspiration and the approach to creating the work is intentional, scholarly, and authentic. She invites us into her process with discussions about different themes she wants to explore and allows us to bring our own thoughts, experiences, and opinions along for the ride. I appreciate this process because she sets the tone of what the expectation is and simultaneously allows us, dancers, to find it for ourselves. 

How do you interpret music onstage?

To me music is the guiding force for movement, to love dance you must love music, their relationship is unbreakable. When I perform onstage, the music becomes the grounding aspect of the piece – no matter what happens in terms of executing material, the music will continue to go on & lead you through. Years ago, someone told me even in silence there’s music within you – that phrase sticks with me to this day. As a dancer, I think of my movement as music that compliments the sound of the piece, which will be exciting to play around with for this show since we’re dancing to one of my favorite genres,  Jazz. 

What do you love most about dancing at the Bayview Opera House?

Bayview Opera House has this historic vibe that really speaks to me every time I walk in it. I love admiring the details in the architecture and imagining what the designer was thinking while building it. I also love taking a lap around the space & looking at the art and pictures from decades ago. Bayview sometimes feels like a hidden gem and I appreciate being able to soak in its culture and move through the energy of the space regularly. 

What can Audiences look forward to seeing in The Motley Experiment?

The Motley Experiment will be a very exciting experience for the audience because so many aspects of a traditional dance show will be removed. There will be LIVE music, meaning the musicians and the dancers will have this ongoing exchange throughout the entire show that will be incredible to witness. The set-up of stage vs. audience will be unique and will allow a more intimate experience for all involved, including the performers. I can’t wait to see you there! 🙂

PUSH Dance Company and Bayview Opera House present the world premiere of The Motley Experiment by Raissa Simpson on Friday, March 27 at 7:30pm and Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29 at 2pm at Bayview Opera House in San Francisco. The evening-length, multimedia dance work inspired by Jazz-age Modernist and Harlem Renaissance figure Archibald Motley features original music composed and performed live by Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids.

Get Tickets at https://tinyurl.com/MotleyEx

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