What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Jessica Parks and I am originally from right outside of Detroit, a town called Plymouth, Michigan. Now I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I’ve been in New York for 10 years.
What project have you been working on at SPACE?
I’m collaborating with a friend and photographer Payam Rahimian on a multimedia work where there is a dance phrase that was previously set and we’ve been kind of taking it apart in a bunch of different pieces and recording it using motion to document it from a number of different angles… and so the eventual plan is to sort of work with the concept of cubism where we will take a bunch of different—not all of them but we’ll take select clips from all the filming and edit it together to create a dance film that sees the work from many different angles—so things that you wouldn’t be able to see from a proscenium or even a theatre in the round. It gives you the ability to see the mover from many different angles. And so in practice it will be projected on the back on a large screen as a dancer performs it at the same time so you’re seeing it all.
Is this the first time you’ve done something like this?
It is! I’ve done a little bit of dance for film before but nothing like this. And this is sort of like a precursor or baby version to what I’d actually like to do. I’d like to make this a very large piece and use more dancers and more cameras. But this is sort of like creating a nugget to work with and experiment with this concept and see how it goes.
Sharing SPACE is coming up. What will you be presenting?
I will be presenting the three and a half minute phrase as a solo but we won’t have the multimedia aspect this time. And I’m also presenting a dance piece with one of my dancers Kat Mersak that we created half of here at SPACE last year. It’s a very athletic, enjoyable dance. I like to dance it. It’s very dancy, dancy. And it was choreographed by me and my Co-Artistic Director, Stephanie Booth, who is pregnant right now, so she is not going to dance it. Usually we would do it together, but since she is seven months pregnant that’s not going to happen but I think she is going to come and watch.
How have you been spending your time here?
Eating a lot. So much food. I am so full. I did lots of things. Actually last time I was here it was August and it was very hot and we had a very strict agenda – we have a strict schedule this time, too – but different because last time we were building a dance. It was a different sort of mentality. And this time working with Payam we have a little (just a little) bit more free time then I would generally allow for myself, so we got to go swimming, which was great and I’m going to go swimming today, which is great. Also enjoying the sun and the silence. I taught a yoga class Wednesday morning.
What’s coming up next for you?
Since my company started we have been doing a season every year—producing a season or being produced, which is great when that happens. But with Stephanie, my Co-Artistic Director, pregnant, we have decided to hold off until she has completed the work that she was in the middle of. So we are in process for both a new work by Stephanie and also this cubism-inspired work that I have been building. So what I see kind of happening right now is that I am going to start to pull more of our dancers in. We are a pickup company, so when we are not working on something that uses everybody they kind of disperse and then we call everyone back when it’s time to gather the troops. So bringing more dancers back and starting to do more phrase work, stuff for this particular project. With an ideal performance date in the spring of 2015.
If you were reincarnated as a farm animal what animal would you be and why?
I think I would be a horse, though I don’t want to work. I don’t want to be a work horse. I would want to be a horse that just hangs out and grazes in the pastures. They get to go fast and jump. Maybe a riding horse? I like people. Why not!
Interviewed by Michael Calciano.