JESSE FACTOR is a solo dance artist and graduate assistant in dance at The University of Iowa. Jesse holds a B.F.A. in drama from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Factor's developing body of work imaginatively combines and repurposes archival material with contemporary dance practice. Jesse’s work has been presented nationally at ACDA, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Iowa Dance Festival, Midwest RADFest, and in New York City at City Center Studios, Suite Summer Festival at Socrates Sculpture Garden, Greenspace, and the Tank. Jesse danced professionally for the Martha Graham Dance Company, Graham II, North American Tour of Cats, and European tour of Cabaret.
I endeavor to mine the body as a cultural archive and to question the distance between beautiful and the grotesque. I’m often interested in the performance of the diva as a collective signifier holding interlocking systems of power, love, celebrity, and sacrifice. I take delight in exploiting the intricate physicality of the Graham legacy and activating dynamic cross-references in popular culture. I’m interested in working at the intersection of various performance traditions, including dance modernism, clowning, vaudeville, drag, and mime in order to render a unique hybrid performance. I seek to blur and repurpose fixed binary notions of humor/terror, male/female, glamour/abjection, and real/fake through my body, with a sense of risk and abandon. I locate and push the excessive, hyper-theatrical body frequently employed in the aesthetics of Camp into new and uncharted scenarios. In what ways does the body allow us to re-think and re-imagine historical possibilities and to “remember into the future”? I value the queer, the magical, the transgressive, and the inherent strangeness of dance. As such, I access archival material only to disrupt it in some way making space for something new and fabulous. In other words, actively queering the archive produces new aesthetic possibilities.