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 Vertika Srivastava

PUSH Dance Company is proud to present choreography by Vertika Srivastava on Wednesday November 11, 2020 LIVE at 6 PM. Photo by Makossa Vintage.

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 started training in bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form, when I was young and continue training in it today.

What can audiences look forward to seeing in your work at PUSHfest?
Rhythm, drive, and hidden silences.

What are the major sources of inspiration for your choreography? What are you curious about?
I’m curious about people. What drives us, what’s our tipping point, when do we shine, how did we get here?

If you hadn’t chosen this career, what might you have been doing in your life?
I’m a software engineer and bharatanatyam dancer. If neither of those, I’d pursue writing in some form.

What does your work respond to or activate within this world or yourself?
The week before I choreographed this piece I had a few people top-of-mind. They were all women who were very different from each other but represented strength and joy in their own way. With gratitude toward them in mind, I set forth choreographing this piece.

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?
Get through a first draft quickly—that’s the hardest part—and then iterate from there.

Learn more:
instagram: @vertikadance

Vertika is a woman of two worlds: software engineering and bharatanatyam, America and India, North India and South India, masculine and feminine, strength and softness. The constant negotiation and balancing act often gives rise to an expression: sometimes in words and sometimes in movement.