JESSE FACTOR creates multidisciplinary dance projects inhabiting divas, queer nostalgia, and longing. Using the body to re-think and to re-imagine performance and gender, the work endeavors to “remember into the future”. Factor’s growing performance repertory is informed by traditions of theater, dance modernism, and drag. Jesse employs the aesthetics of camp and genderfuck through diligent creative research. The performance work pushes a hyper-theatrical body into innovative theatrical scenarios. Jesse’s solo performance reckons with the past and future of queer aesthetics, legends, and desires, often through the medium of femiconicity. Factor’s studied channeling of diva icons in exile--from time and bodies--hauntingly reflects the impressions they’ve left behind.
Jesse Factor’s work is consistently recognized for physical virtuosity, dramaturgical rigor, and creative audacity. Factor’s RELIC recently received the Twin Cities Arts Reader Critic’s Pick, Minnesota Fringe Staff Pick, and garnered multiple 5-star audience reviews. Jesse’s ongoing Marthagany series has been selected for presentation at All Out Dance-Fresh Fruit Festival (NYC), Blunderland Variety Show at Brooklyn's infamous House of Yes, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, City Center Studios (NYC), Donatella Queer Variety Show (Pittsburgh, PA), Fierce! Queer Festival (Toronto, ON), Flyover Festival (Iowa City, IA), KYLD Performance Series (Philadelphia, PA), Midwest RADfest (Kalamazoo, MI), Milton Art Bank (Milton, PA), OUTsider Fest (Austin, TX), PEARLpresents (Pittsburgh, PA), and TQ Live! presented by the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, PA). Additional work, including Mommie Queerest and Kween Kong, have been selected for presentation at the American College Dance Association Gala, Chicago Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival, Fail-Safe Performance Series (Pittsburgh, PA) Greenspace (NYC), St. Mark's Church in the Bowery (NYC), Suite Summer Festival (NYC), and the Tank (NYC). Factor received the Iowa Arts Fellowship (2015-2016) and an Obermann Graduate Institute Fellowship (2017) at the University of Iowa. Jesse danced professionally with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham II, received a BFA in Drama with honors from Tisch/NYU, and an MFA in Dance from the University of Iowa.
I believe in dance as an intense way of existing, rather than as a vehicle for a message or the organization of bodies in time and space. I do not wish to speak through the body, instead I wish to let the body speak for itself through the transformations and effort involved in exaggeration and stylization. My purpose as a dance artist is to challenge expectations via the dancing body and I endeavor to delight and surprise while also disrupting and questioning.