Choreographer: Jessica Taylor
Artist Statement/Philosophy/Mission Statement:
What makes great dance so intoxicating to watch is the ability to generate power with grace, stillness with energy, momentum with control; all with passion running deeply. Choreography is the only means through which I feel that I am fully honest with myself and with those around me. Through dance I explore vulnerability through an unstoppable force … the heart. This passionate piece of our soul is pulled in so many directions. It is being squeezed, cradled, ripped, bandaged, fondled, poked and broken. This force that is within all of us is capable of handling so many emotions to the extreme. Without these, dance is just movement with no meaning.
My mission is to explore the simplicity in movement using a dancer’s tool to express what you cannot, or are afraid to, speak aloud. With choreography that speaks to inspire personal interpretation, perhaps one day I can help someone else feel a connection to something they have, for some reason, stuffed deep inside themselves. When working with dancers, I try to encourage us, as a group, to become our movement. To strive to perform it as organic dialogue; naturally streaming from ourselves.
With passion being my base, I experiment with movement originating from the torso. The back, chest and abdomen provide the strength and stability to create beautiful lines and shapes in the extremities, but can also expel wonderful dynamic movement within itself, which really exhibits my stylistic quality. On top of that, I play with isolation of limbs, feeling the ground as your base, feeling staccato and flow, line and curve and remembering that our bodies are added instruments to the accompaniment.
Short Artist/Company Bio:
DAMAGEDANCE was founded in the summer of 2010, led by artistic director and choreographer Jessica Taylor in New York City. The company’s mission is to strive to increase awareness about the beauty of dancing with passion and doing it differently. We must learn to embrace our flaws, not hide from them. It was choreographer Bob Fosse that said, "I thank God that I wasn't born perfect". DAMAGEDANCE will always be known for performing from the heart, with movement that has purpose.
Jessica Taylor received her BA in dance at Point Park University She has choreographed for the Pittsburgh Playhouse Dance Company, SUNY Purchase, COCAdance Pre-professional Company, Squonk Opera and Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club through Stages St. Louis. Her work through DAMAGEDANCE has been showcased in New York City at the Rover Soho, Amalgamate Artist Series, Fertile Ground, Tea Dances, and the APAP Festival at Dance New Amsterdam.
Describe some of your achievements over the course of the last five years:
My choreography was first recognized at the American College Dance Festival gala performance with my piece entitled TRONIC, which represented Point Park University in 2008. My work has been performed many times around both St. Louis and New York City. I’ve choreographed for the Pittsburgh Playhouse Dance Company, SUNY Purchase, COCAdance pre-professional dance company and more. Since relocating to New York, I have shown my work at many venues and festivals including the Amalgamate Artist Series, a shared triple bill at the Rover Soho with Kelley Donovan and Dancers and Diane Tomasi, Fertile Ground at Green Space, Tea Dances hosted by Jody Sperling and Emily Faulkner, and he APAP Festival at Dance New Amsterdam.
What do you hope to gain from the experience of participating in this festival?
As with any festival or performance series my main goal is always to be able to meet new artists and performers! However, very close behind that would be the mission to display my work as much as possible and in as many areas that I can.
Have you participated in other festivals or showcases?
If so – what were elements you enjoyed and what areas do you think could have been
The main element I always enjoy is seeing other artist’s work and sharing my own. Though I find feedback to be a wonderful way to hear what other’s perceive and to develop new artistic growth, I found that in some of the feedback sessions I have been involved in the audience felt obligated to say something, when some would much rather come and ask or tell me in private. I feel like a comfortable atmosphere is very important. This keeps things exciting and interesting!
Choreographer: Jessica Taylor
Number of performers: 6
Brief Description of the Work: Glimpses explores different mental disorders, how much more common they are then people think, and how widespread their affect is, no matter how mild or severe. (This piece was just completed, so it is still a work in progress)