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 ongoing Marthagany series has been enthusiastically received at All Out Dance presented by the Fresh Fruit Festival, NYC, American College Dance Association, Blunderland Variety Show at Brooklyn's infamous House of Yes, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, City Center Studios NYC, Donatella Queer Variety Show in Pittsburgh, PA, Fierce! Queer Festival in Toronto, ON, Flyover Festival in Iowa City, IA, KYLD Performance Series in Philadelphia, PA, Midwest RADfest in Kalamazoo, MI, OUTsider Fest in Austin, TX and PEARLpresents in Pittsburgh, PA. Jesse’s additional dance work, including Mommie Queerest, Relic, and Kween Kong have been selected for presentation at the American College Dance Association Gala, Chicago Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival, Fail Safe Performance Series in Pittsburgh, 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.