2017-18 Season Artist Feature
A BRIEF ENCOUNTER WITH LARISSA VELEZ-JACKSON
Larissa Velez-Jackson is standing under a tree by the side of Prospect Park Lake, staring at a group of empty paddleboats gently rocking side-by-side. But it’s not particularly tranquil, and she’s not the only Jackson present — about a hundred yards behind her, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” is blasting from the inside of a mammoth roller rink, where an oddly small group is speeding, spinning, and generally ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa-ing around. “There’s this aspect of athleticism required in dance, which is something I’ve always pushed up against,” she says, with eyes turned towards the lake. Larissa is talking about her contemporary dance choreography and her day job as a senior fitness instructor, for which she visits New York City YMCA's and senior centers to run dance classes. “At the senior centers in Bushwick,” she says, “There are these big DJ dance parties three times a week that are attended by, like, 150 people at a time. These are happening parties. And I really would like to bring the celebration of their senior center culture to the theater.” That’s why, earlier in the week, she’d started recruiting interested seniors to be part of Zapatografía/Shoegraphy, which she describes as her most minimalist comedic solo, with dry humor. Though a solo, “it’s about communities that live side-by-side, and yet often ignore each other. The seniors are gonna be present in the show, and I'll be bringing contemporary dance to their center as well." By the time Larissa walks away from the pond, the rollerblade music has shifted into "Billie Jean." And as she walks, the park lights go up.
PLAYING AT THE STARR SEPTEMBER 6-10, 2017
VIEW DETAILS HERE