Larissa Velez-Jackson

Undergraduate Discipline

Theatre

A choreographer and hybrid artist who uses improvisation as a main tool for research and creation, focusing on personhood and the dancing/sound-making body, Velez-Jackson employs a deep humor to grant audiences universal access to contemporary art’s critical discourse. Of her 2010, critically-acclaimed show at Danspace Project, The New York Times said, “Ms. Velez-Jackson demonstrates her own formidable presence as she bursts into the space…A choreographer who is not afraid of being (or showing) ugly onstage, she disarms her audiences with humor….” In 2011, she launched a song-and-dance collaboration with her husband, Jon Velez-Jackson, called Yackez, “The World's Most Loveable Musical Duo." Velez-Jackson is also the artistic director of the LVJ Performance Co. Her works have been performed widely in New York City, including at The Bushwick Starr, The Chocolate Factory, Roulette, Museum of Art and Design, Danspace Project, New Museum, American Realness Festival at Abrons Arts Center, and Martin E Segal Theatre. In May 2014, LVJ performed an exciting mobile outdoor work, S.P.E.D. THE BX, with the support of Bronx nonprofit Pepatían and Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education. S.P.E.D. THE BX was a durational, site-speciific work that culminated for an audience of 70 children and BRONXNET cable television. Later in 2014, LVJ premiered “Star Crap Method” at Chocolate Factory Theatre. The piece was the culmination of three years of studio and stage research in LVJ’s improvisational performance practices for a cast of four people. The piece also featured lighting designer Kathy Kaufmann, who improvised the lighting design anew for each performance. Talya Epstein, a member of the cast, was nominated for a 2015 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award for her performance in “Star Crap Method.” SLC, 2020–