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


Simpson, R. (forthcoming 2021) Critical Black Futures, “Artistic Reframing for Celestial Black Bodies,” Chapter 5: Springer Nature.

Simpson, Raissa. (2019) Spatial Politics. Dancing Around Race Zine.

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Raissa Simpson is an African American/Pilipino choreographer and artistic director of the San Francisco-based PUSH Dance Company. Her multidisciplinary dances are at the intersection of complex racial and cultural identities and centers around discourse on the complex experiences of racialized bodies. A graduate of SUNY Purchase, Simpson had an extensive performance career with Robert Moses Kin and Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre. Her choreography honors include Magrit Mondavi Award, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and Grants for the Arts. Her choreography has been presented by Joyce SoHo, Aspen Fringe Festival, Dance St. Louis, Ferst Center, Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival and Black Choreographers Festival. She has held creative residencies at Dance Initiative Carbondale, Santa Clara University, Bayview Opera House, Sacramento State University, Margaret Jenkins’ CHIME, African American Theater Alliance (AATAIN!) and CounterPulse. She received a Phyllis C Wattis Foundation with Bayview Opera House for her most recent work, The Motley Experiment.

Village Voice dance critic Deborah Jowitt notes, “Simpson dances big.”