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 Jazz Spectrum Dance Company

PUSH Dance Company is proud to present choreography by Christine Baltes of Jazz Spectrum Dance Company, re-staged by Janell Burgess, on Wednesday October 21, 2020 LIVE at 6 PM. Photo by Tony Mierzwicki.

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

Christine Baltes (1952-2018) by Vince Trupsin

Tell us a little bit about your dance background.
Christine Baltes (1951-2018), a first generation predecessor of the Giordano Technique, certified in Pilates, Master Gyrotonic Trainer, and founder of Jazz Spectrum Dance Company in 1987. Crafting over 40 choreographic works throughout her career, Ms. Baltes’s legacy is carried on through JSDC and current Artistic Director Janell Burgess. Studying under Ms. Baltes for over 20 years, Janell is deeply rooted in classical jazz techniques. She also holds certifications in ballet, yoga, and holistic healthcare.

What can audiences look forward to seeing in your work at PUSHfest?
Audiences will be inspired by the precision and strength of Jazz Spectrum Dance Company. The piece we are presenting is performed by an all female cast. We hope the audience will experience and feel the idea of “mother earth” and her connection to our world.

What are the major sources of inspiration for your choreography? What are you curious about?
Jazz Spectrum Dance Company is inspired by how the human body and music can become one. We love the idea of being grounded into the earth and finding movement from the inside out! It is our core belief that our movement derives from our centers and how that connects us emotionally to ourselves and our audiences. Bringing power to the stage and empowering others through dance is what we are all about!

What does your work respond to or activate, within this world or within yourself?
The work activates both the feminine and masculine energies within the world. At times, the work is sultry and sexy, but within the same moment you experience feelings of boldness and strength. The classical jazz technique that Jazz Spectrum Dance Company offers is the perfect blend of two opposing energies coming together as one, creating a very powerful presence on the stage.

Janell Burgess by Erick Rosales

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?
Find a technique and style that resonates within your own body. Study it and master it so you can create work from a strong foundation.

Learn more:
instagram: @jazzspectrumdancecompany

Deeply rooted in classical jazz technique, Jazz Spectrum Dance Company was founded in 1987 by Christine Baltes. Her legacy lives on through her choreographic works in JSDC, currently under the artistic direction of Janell Burgess.