ChoreoFest Interview: Jessica Chang and Jennifer Roberts!

by Nicole Harris

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Photo courtesy of Jessica Chang

ChoreoFest starts TODAY!! We are just 2 brief hours away from the start of ChoreoFest, and we're down to our final three choreographer interviews. Introducing two wonderful co-choreographers, Jessica Chang and Jennifer Roberts!
Nicole Harris: What made you want to make the move from being a dancer to a choreographer?

Jessica & Jennifer: We felt the pull toward choreography because we want more freedom to carry out our own choreographic visions, not only serve as tools for other choreographers. We want to move in the specific ways that delight our bodies, and to embrace the movement idiosyncrasies specific to us.

Nicole: What are you most nervous about regarding ChoreoFest?
J &J: Producing quality work in such a short amount of time!

Nicole: Since this is a very controlled creative space (in terms of time and topic) where do you see yourself starting when you get in the space?
J &J: The selected topic will be an obvious impetus for our initial movement ideas. Since time is a huge factor, we want to draft a first score quickly. The more time we have to play and edit within that initial structure- the better. 

Nicole: In creating a new work, what in the relationship between you and your dancers? Do they participate in the creative process? If so, how?
J &J: We’ve been dancing together for years but only recently started choreographing collaboratively. We’re familiar with each other’s movement aesthetics but are still in the process of learning how to make space for both our strengths.

Nicole: Knowing that Karen Krolak will be on hand as "choreographic guru", what things do you hope she can help with in the overnight process?
J &J: We’re excited to critically engage with someone with such vast experience in movement, costuming, text, and production. And we look forward to Karen pushing our work in new and interesting directions.

Nicole: Who are some of your favorite choreographers?
J &J: Andrea Miller, Ohad Naharin, Zoe Scofield, David Dorfman

Nicole: Who are your mentors? How are you paying forward the things your mentor gave you?
J &J: We both attended Mount Holyoke College and were molded by the great teaching artists of the Five College dance department including Terese Freedman and Jim Coleman, Cynthia McLaughlin, Katie Martin, and Peter Jones. Thanks to these and other faculty we were introduced to a wide range of contemporary movement styles.

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