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 Weslie Ching

PUSH Dance Company is proud to present choreography by Weslie Ching on September 29-30, 2018 for PUSHfest Program B at ODC Theater in San Francisco. 


Tell us a little bit about your dance background.

I studied dance at UC Santa Barbara and afterward danced semi-professionally in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. I took a break from dancing for several years due to an injury, but in 2014 I decided to choreograph. Since then my work has been shown in various venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, and the Pasadena Dance Festival. My next performance is at the SoloDuo Festival in New York.

What can audiences look forward to seeing in your work at PUSHfest?

My work has been described as precise, mathematical, and well-crafted. I rely heavily on patterns, repetition, and geometrically influenced spatial design. While this sounds a bit dry, the overall effect can be very satisfying to watch, much in the same way that pieces by minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Terry Riley can use multiples of simple tones to create intensely moving music.

What are the major sources of inspiration for your choreography?

I am often inspired by broad scientific concepts such as the law of conservation of mass, string theory, or the prismatic spectrum. My very laypersons understanding of these ideas might inspire movement themes, while general tone or meaning (i.e. what a piece is “about”) is often derived from themes in religious or metaphysical cosmology.

If you hadn’t chosen this career, what might you have been doing in your life?

Ha! Based on the above it sounds like I might have been a scientist, but I definitely would have landed somewhere in the arts. I am obsessed with craftsmanship, so perhaps I would have been a fine metalsmith like my father.

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?

Keep making, it is the only way to improve and evolve. Honestly observe, but don’t judge too harshly. And spend a lot of time with yourself…meaning, you can be inspired by other people, but work to find your own voice.

Learn more: www.wesliechingdance.com