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 JP Alejandro

PUSH Dance Company is proud to present choreography by JP Alejandro on Wednesday October 7, 2020 LIVE at 6 PM. 

This Fall, join us for PUSHfest Global, our virtual dance festival featuring 18 choreographers from the Bay Area and beyond. From October 7 through November 18, each Wednesday evening at 6 PM meet a new group of PUSHfest Artists for dynamic conversations about dance and activism. | Tickets & More Here

Tell us a little bit about your dance background.
I graduated in 2018 with a B.S in Dance from University Wisconsin-Madison. I was a recipient of First Wave Urban Arts Scholarship program. When I returned to the Bay Area, I received an apprenticeship with PUSH Dance company, and the following year became a full company member.

What can audiences look forward to seeing in your work at PUSHfest?
The integration of voice and movement flowing together as a duet. A full embodied vessel as a means to story-tell an experience.

What are the major sources of inspiration for your choreography? What are you curious about?
I was thinking about the idea of dreaming, and the escapism within dreaming I adored and needed when I was a child. I am a first-gen Filipino immigrant and so my lived experiences assimilating to American culture was difficult. All I could do was to dream, and work hard. It was at this realization dreaming was like defying gravity, and so I was curious about what it meant to feel weightless. That euphoric feeling of ease and direction.

What does your work respond to or activate, within this world or within yourself?
My work responds to challenging the model minority mold, and inspiring hope within people’s journey. It’s important to dream because it gives us hope, and hope is the driving force and unit for all revolutions.

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?
Stay true to who you are, and find what makes you move internally. Your individual experiences matter, and believe you are the best work you create.

Learn more:
instagram: @JP_Bayani