Welcome to Artists Reach Out: reflections in a time of isolation. I dreamed this series of interviews out of grief for my work both as a documenting arts writer and curator of live performance. In this time of social distancing, we are called to responsibly do all we can to safeguard ourselves and our neighbors. It is, literally, a matter of life and death.
But there's no distancing around what we still can share with one another--our experiences, thoughts, wisdom, humor, hearts and spirit. In some ways, there are more opportunities to do so as we pull back from everyday busyness out in the world and have time to honor the call of our inner lives.
So, let me introduce you to some artists I find interesting. I'm glad they're part of our beautiful community, and I'm eager to engage with them again (or for the first time) in years to come.
--Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody
(photo: Andrew Eccles)
Jacqueline Green (Baltimore, MD) began her dance training at the age of 13 at the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts. She is a 2011 cum laude graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program under the direction of Denise Jefferson. During that time she also received training at the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet, the Chautauqua Institution for Dance, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. In her career, she has performed works by a wide range of choreographers, including Wayne McGregor, Jiří Kylián, Elisa Monte, Ronald K. Brown, and Kyle Abraham. In 2016, she performed as a guest artist with The Royal Ballet. Ms. Green is a 2018 Bessie nominee for sustained achievement with the Company, a 2014 Dance Fellowship recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, a 2015 Clive Barnes Award nominee, a 2009 recipient of the Martha Hill Fund’s Young Professional Award, and a 2010 recipient of the Dizzy Feet Foundation Scholarship. In 2018, she performed on BET’s Black Girls Rock, honoring Judith Jamison. Ms. Green is also a two time New York Times featured artist. She was a member of Ailey II in 2010 and joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011, where she is currently a principal dancer.
Jacqueline Green on Instagram @jagreen711
(photo: NYC Dance Project)
Do you have a current or planned project whose progress is affected by the pandemic?
I have several projects whose progress was affected by the pandemic.
My domestic tour with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was cancelled. My wedding was planned for January 2021 and has had to be postponed. Aside from various birthday celebrations for the older to new members of my family
Briefly, tell me about how you got involved in the arts and in your particular practice.
My mother is the reason for my getting involved in the arts in this professional capacity. She found an arts high school in my hometown, Baltimore, that was great academically, and that ending up being the catalyst for me applying and auditioning for the dance department in the school. She choose dance simply because I was flexible and a bit dramatic. It is definitely not something I would have picked for myself at that time, but I am so glad for her guidance because it is my passion and how I feel I live in my purpose.
In a more specific way, what are you practicing? And what are you envisioning?
I practice becoming the best overall artist in the field of dance that I can possible be. That includes learning to execute multiple dance styles, being a role model for those who look like me who may not have been exposed to Blacks in dance, and passing down the information I know as an artist to those who are also aspiring artists in the field of dance.
How does your practice and your visioning align with what you most care about?
I care about representation. My life, and the life of my family, has changed drastically simply because I was exposed to a Black woman who was glorified in the dance world. I hadn’t seen the possibility of being a professional dancer as a Black girl from Baltimore until I saw it with my eyes. Dance has exposed me to things that no one in my family would have or has experienced. That dancer is Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, and she is still a mentor of mine.
How does your practice function within the world we have now?
Dance has the ability to speak to many different types of people without verbal communication. I travel to many different countries and dance in front of people from many different backgrounds, social economic statuses, races, genders, languages, and they all have similar experiences to the pieces of art observed. That tells me that art, and my craft in dance specifically, has a way of uniting all types of people. If we can all relate to something, we can a agree on how the world should be.
Briefly share one self-care tip that has special meaning to you now.
I work hard, so I like to do things to pamper my physical body to counter the intensity of my training. I get deep tissue body massages, cryotherapy, go floating, etc. I try all the new rehabilitations that major artists and athletes use.
DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve, at Gibney, as Senior Director of Artist Development and Curation and Editorial Director. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.
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