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

#theRona Chronicles | with Kao Vey Saephanh

#theRona Chronicles invites the performers, collaborators and staff of The Motley Experiment to reflect upon its postponement from its original March 2020 premiere to February 2021. Created in residency at Bayview Opera House, set to live music by Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids, Raissa Simpson’s The Motley Experiment, and the collaborators who bring the project to life, are adapting and moving along with changes in the time of the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) pandemic.

What were you doing before the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place order?

Dancer for The Motley Experiment.

How did you feel when The Motley Experiment was postponed until February 2021?

Though I knew safety and health of the public was most important, I was definitely sad when The Motley Experiment was cancelled because we had worked so hard and wanted to share the experience with the public

How are you practicing your craft during the pandemic?

Watching rehearsal videos to remember the materials of The Motley Experiment and home workouts to stay in shape.

What do you look forward to doing with The Motley Experiment when the order is lifted?

I am looking forward to dancing and performing on stage and sharing the experience for friends and families.

Kao Vey Sebastian Saephanh, winner of a 2014 sjDANCEco ChoreoProject Award for Best Choreography, is based in San Francisco, CA. He received his MFA in dance from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts in 2009 and has a B.A. in dance from San Francisco State University. Allan Ulrich, dance correspondent for the SF Chronicle, described his work as filled with “intelligence and intensity” and “strikes sparks”. His choreographic work has been performed at the American College Dance Festival, SFSU Dance Theater, and Grace Cathedral, as part of the SF Movement Arts Festival. His credits include dancing for PUSH Dance Company, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Cathleen McCarthy, Annie Rosenthal Parr, Brooke Notary, Nguyen Dance Company, SFSU Dance Theater, as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Kao was praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as a dancer who “moved with sinuous grace through the stage”. Currently, he co-directs LV Dance Collective, is a principal choreographer for SF Movement Arts Festival, and a dancer for Raissa Simpson with PUSH Dance Company.  Kao is going on his 5th year with the company and honored to be the choreographer for PUSHLab in 2017.

To learn more about PUSH Dance Company’s response to COVID-19, and how you can support our Artists, Teachers, and Outreach program, read our statement here.