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 Hayley Bowman

PUSH Dance Company is proud to present choreography by Hayley Bowman on September 28-30, 2018 for PUSHfest Program A at ODC Theater in San Francisco. 


Tell us a little bit about your dance background.

My mother took me to Sleeping Beauty when I was two, I stayed awake for the whole performance and told her “I want to do that!” I grew up training classically in ballet, until I realized I needed dance that had more freedom, athleticism, and imagination; which led me to contemporary training.  I came to California to earn my BFA in Dance with the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program at Dominican University of CA. Now I am continuing to work and freelance perform to find a balance of what it means to be a dancer and community advocate.

What can audiences look forward to seeing in your work at PUSHfest?

I have this urge to create dance, or have ideas for work, that has balance between satisfying the dance community specter and connects to the community that is unfamiliar with the language of dance. I want to bring everyone in, and that includes people outside of the dance community that may need catharsis. I see, and hope, that Lost in the Archives is an iteration of this.

What are the major sources of inspiration for your choreography?

Text is always a guide for me, and this is one reason why we chose to interview individuals so that we could use their words to create movement.  Using words/writing to create helps me stay on task or round out an idea, otherwise I get lost in all the possible options or ‘what ifs.’ I also, for some reason, feel that because everyone knows a speaking/written language, that if we use a somewhat direct translation of language to dance that anyone can understand and find meaning in what they see.

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

I have no idea… maybe a teacher, lawyer, or a track star!

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?

I am not sure I have a lot of generic advice to give as this is a new chapter in my life, but sometimes when I get jumbled and ask myself “Why do this career, or why I am I doing this?” – I think of two quotes: Chance the Rapper’s lyric, “I don’t make songs for free, I make them for freedom;” and Chef Alex Atala’s quote, “…The luxury is in your hands, in your ability. This is luxury…. the human capacity to transform something into emotions.”

Learn more: www.hayleydebockbowman.com