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Jessie Alexandra Young

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I am a choreographer, performer and teacher living in Brooklyn. My work manifests as a relational experience, whether an hour-long dance performance or a series of photographs documenting bodies in space. My creative process is a mercurial experience of constructing and distilling an atmosphere. I immerse myself in a process of slippage, collaging embodied and visual practices and then listening to the reverberations in the material. I work with a light hand, embracing a sense of improvisation and arrival as I play with habit and ritual as fodder for choreography. As a director, I look for the emergent substructures of the work, asking: What is the floor? What is the sky? What are the edges? My upbringing in the Pacific Northwest infuses a poetics of wistfulness into my work: melancholic affect, grunge aesthetics, and weighty landscapes recur as guiding motifs. Tectonic friction surfaces as I layer nuanced somatic attention with expansive formal dance.

The performances that emerge from this collision are chaotic ecosystems of durational movement that challenge the theatrical structure. I use complex spatial patterns and bold physicality to evoke a world of whimsical endurance edging toward euphoria. These works always exist in relation to my past dance training—of which I am in an ongoing process of reevaluation, attempting to build new frameworks for imagining the body. The tension in this reckoning creates the potential for an atmospheric shift: navigating volatile terrain, performer and spectator alike witness the malleability of reality and the liveness of the individual and collective bodies.

My work has been presented by Danspace Project, New York Live Arts, FringeArts, The Current Sessions, Festival International de Teatro Susana Alexander (Mexico), Fleet Moves Dance Festival (Cape Cod), Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (Illinois), the Domestic Performance Agency and extensively in Chicago with institutions such as Links Hall, Chicago Home Theater Festival, Chicago Dance Crash, and The Inconvenience. I am a New York Live Arts Fresh Tracks Artist for 2017-18, collaborating on a duet with Jasmine Hearn and an Artist-in-Residence at Brooklyn Studios for Dance (2018). I perform with Abby Z and the New Utility and am in process Julie Mayo for her upcoming show at The Chocolate Factory (October, 2018). I have performed and collaborated in the works of The Seldoms, Kristina Isabelle Dance Company, Khecari Dance Theater, The Moving Architects, The Space/Movement Project, The Space We Make, Julie Mayo, Stephanie Acosta, Nico Brown, Sara Gurevich and Erin Kilmurray among others. I hold a BFA from the University of Utah and an MFA from the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign. In addition to my work as a choreographer, dancer and dance teacher I also work as a pilates instructor at Sixth Street Pilates.