Larissa Velez-Jackson

Image of Larissa Velez-Jackson
Visiting Faculty

Larissa Velez-Jackson is a NYC-based choreographer, movement educator, the Artistic Director of LVJ Performance Co. and a multi-platform artist who blends dance, healing modalities, sound, humor, strategies of self-compassion and intergenerational community practice. 

Biography

Velez-Jackson is a Boricua-American originally from Newark, New Jersey, and a recent cancer survivor, committed to the healing and transformative potential of art and integrated body/mind practice. Velez-Jackson works as a choreographer, interdisciplinary artist, performer, and teacher who uses improvisation as a main tool for research and creation, focusing on personhood and the dancing/sound-making body. She employs a deep humor to grant audiences universal access to contemporary art's critical discourse. Of her first, solo, critically acclaimed show at Danspace Project (2010), The New York Times said, “Ms. Velez-Jackson demonstrates her own formidable presence as she bursts into the space… A choreographer who is not afraid of being (or showing) ugly onstage, she disarms her audiences with humor…” In 2011, she launched a song-and-dance collaboration with her husband, Jon Velez-Jackson, called Yackez, “The World's Most Loveable Musical Duo." Yackez presented a two-act world premiere at New York Live Arts in March 2017, entitled “Give It To You Stage.” She is also the Artistic Director of her project-based company, LVJ Performance Co.

Velez-Jackson's works have been curated internationally in Mexico City, Mexico and Madrid, Spain. Her works have been performed widely in New York City, including The Bushwick Starr, The Chocolate Factory, Roulette, Museum of Art and Design, Danspace Project, New Museum, American Realness Festival at Abrons Arts Center, and Martin E Segal Theater. 

Velez-Jackson is a passionate teacher of mind/body wellness and fitness classes, specializing in the older adult population. Her recent choreographic works, "Give It To You Stage" with Yackez and her "Zapatografía/Shoegraphy" at Bushwick Starr and Abrons Arts Center in New York City, incorporated a cast of senior dance-exercisers. 

In 2016, Velez-Jackson was awarded the prestigious Foundation for Contemporary Art’s “Grant to Artists” award, The Award (mentoring initiative 2016-2017), and was nominated for a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. After which she was a choreographic Artist in Residence at the historic Harkness Dance Center at 92Y from 2017-2018. She was a Movement Research Artist in Residence from 2018-2020 and prepares for a new commission with the Chocolate Factory Theater in 2022, researching self and community care and healing. This new work for LVJ Performance Co. is also supported by The Yard in Martha's Vineyard, as well as a Caroline Hearst Choreographic Fellowship at Princeton University (2021-2022). She is honored to have most recently been awarded Dance/NYC's Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency for 2022 in an effort to explicitly address disability justice action within her work.

Velez-Jackson is a visiting faculty member at Bennington for Fall 2022.