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Jay Beardsley is a white, nonbinary dancer, multimedia artist, and teacher currently based in Brooklyn, NY. They currently work and perform with Ballez/Katy Pyle, TheRedProjectNYC/Johnnie Cruise Mercer and MICHIYAYA Dance, among other freelance projects. Their involvement with artists is multifaceted, spanning movement, choreography, community organizing, content and media creation, and grant writing. Their performance credits include Katy Pyle, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Michelle Thompson-Ulerich, and Sinclair Ogaga Emoghene. Additionally, Jay is a teacher of movement and theater at various local studios and within the NYC DOE schooling systems.

 

As a creator, Jay produces multimedia, immersive dance experiences that investigate queer spiritualism, political and historical events, and utopic spaces. Utilizing movement, philosophy, and technology, they enliven performance environments into fantasy lands that offer healing through process. Their choreography and media work has been produced by organizations such as Movement Research (NYC), Proteomedia (NYC), Dance Place (Washington, D.C.), and Dogtown Dance Theatre (Richmond, VA). They will be an inaugural artist-in-residence at a new venue curated by MICHIYAYA in early 2023. They are active in DIY/anti-structural dance spaces and communities as well, which aim to create performance by, for, and through the people.


Jay attended Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating in 2020 with an Outstanding Choreographer award and the Bobby Chandler Award for Theatre. During their time at VCU, Jay studied with and performed works by the likes of Jenna Riegel, Trebien Pollard, André Zachery, MK Abadoo, Christopher K. Morgan, and Scott Putman along with many other valued guest artists and faculty. Jay has deepened their performance research through a multitude of workshops and intensives with artists/organizations including Sidra Bell, Kristopher K.Q. Pourzal, and American Dance Festival.

BIO:

ARTIST STATEMENT:

i am an artist engaging the mediums that have been poured into me: dance and movement, media and film, text and poetry. like most artists, i am always in-process of discovering my own interests and constantly evolving what my work hopes to accomplish. my work tends to be influenced by my love of philosophy, collaboration, community, culture, and experimentation in tandem with my queer experience. thematically, i work around subjects of transition, death, rebirth, and human relations. recent works have aimed to extrapolate and encode sociopolitical dynamics into performative, experiential environments that audiences are invited to be inside of through the use of lighting, acting, writing, and audience participation. inspired by texts like “Queer Phenomenology” by Sara Ahmed, philosophical theories serve as catalysts to create audience-engaging and thought provoking collaborative works. i use tools of nuance and coding to bring these philosophies to life in the space. structure, atmosphere, and activation of (alternative) space are prioritized. while i work in the body, i combine many mediums to set up events where people encounter stimulation and provocation on many levels. my works aim to be ever-evolving and unpredictable. i hope to curate performances as communal gatherings, and am interested in performance as a tool for joyful community organizing and justice efforts. 

within the process of creation, i am interested in using practices of improvisation, choreographic games, theoretical embodiment, and world-making. the audience's engagement is a critical aspect of the work, as well as collaboration with other artists involved. the process of creating is highly fluid between myself, the performers, and the audience. 

with the birth of a new era following 2020, my work has developed a branch of intense self-study. using myself as the subject, i have instituted a series of performative experiments that test and question my own limits, habits, and ideas over time. i am doing this through a combination of filming and photographing myself, experimenting with hyper-focusing on certain aspects of daily routine and micro moments of everyday beauty. the aim of this experiment is to cultivate a performative persona that lives online as its own entity.

ARTIST STATEMENT IN POETICS:

my body is a vessel, my experiences are a frame, my histories are an illumination, my dreams are a wellspring. i work inside my body and in conversation with other bodies. i am a child of the internet and see little separation between media and myself. at the same time i am a child of the south, raised inside of greenery and sprawling landscapes that taught my mind how to settle. i am a romanticist in all senses and seek expansion from all my experiences. i feel bold and curious and enlivened by questioning, i strive to never feel that i know. i want only to be seen on the outskirts, in the unfolding, at the edges, in bypass.

my work is influenced by the integration of philosophy, collaboration, community, culture, and experimentation in tandem with my experiences of my own body in dissonance. i am interested in the ways that performance serves as a vessel for collective feeling, knowing, sensing, and transcending. i often work with political, radical, and philosophical texts and work through a process of encoding in order to engage audiences with certain ideas and theories through performance. structure, atmosphere, and activation of space are prioritized; i combine many mediums to create events where people encounter stimulation and provocation on many levels, often working in sensory overload and contradiction. i want my work to be fun and flirty and full of hot girl shit while also encouraging community bonds, transcendence, and deep reflection. i believe that performances have immense power for organizing and justice efforts and see performance as a tool to unlock empathy.

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