Push Dance Company Website

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Raissa Simpson stars in 360 Degrees by the Bay Pushed

360 Degrees By The Bay Pushed from Bayeté Ross Smith on Vimeo.

View this video in full screen mode for optimum viewing, click the far left.

Note from Bayate Ross Smith: This video was shot in 360 degrees, using multiple cameras arranged in a circle. It is a section of a project called "I See It Now" created in collaboration with the Cause Collective for SF CameraWork. I shot this with Raissa Simpson, of Push Dance Company and Hank Willis Thomas.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Push in The New Yorker

"From San Francisco comes another young troupe that’s multicultural and multimedia, all about mixing genres and sending messages."

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/events/dance/push-dance-company-joyce-soho#ixzz0uASQ4NDr

July 23-24, 2010 8:00pm Joyce SoHo, 155 Mercer St | Tickets: http://www.joyce.org/performancestickets/calendar_detail.php?event=330&theater=2

Yes, Friends it's true! Push Dance Company is heading to New York City (Mid-town Manhattan) to perform! As The New Yorker mentioned, we're bringing our message loud and clear. But more importantly, Raissa Simpson artistic director is returning to New York with her dance company to reconnect with her friends and meet new constituents along the way.

Raissa graduated from State University of New York, Purchase (SUNY) in 2001. She left New York just 10-days before Sept. 11th. Since then she has returned as a performer and now for the first time brings her own dance company.

Flyers at Steps on Broadway
Photo by Dan Stampf

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Black Swordsman Saga

Choreographed by Raissa Simpson

Characters (In order of appearance):





Black Swordsman

Prophet/ Celestial King

Scene I. In post-apocalyptic San Francisco 2012, near the rubble of the Yerba Buena Gardens, a group of bandits have raided a Versace clothing store. They have dubbed themselves the Lords of the Material World. Tracking mysterious footsteps, the group sets up camp for the night. One of the members appoints himself Leader and begins to quarrel with the group. A mysterious Black Swordsman enters. Sending out an unbelievable attack of power, the Black Swordsman subdues the group to his will.

Scene II. (The Dream.) Defeated and unconscious the bandits lie in a pool of their own disillusioned pride, left to an ardent dream of their revenge on the Black Swordsman.

Scene III. Awakened by new footsteps, the bandits bow in regards to The Prophet carrying the Book of Knowledge. The Temptress is particularly interested in the new vigil he brings and receives a secret vial of poison from The Prophet.

Scene IV. The Prophet begins to tell his story of how he stole the Book of Knowledge from his former master. A flashback of his past appears to reveal his private thoughts. Later, a foreshadowing of his future brings new secrets of his plan to form the Celestial King.

Scene V. The Temptress has set up a secret meeting with the Black Swordsman. Preying on his feelings she hands him the vile she received from The Prophet. Thinking the vial is a sleeping potion, she soon learns that it is a slow but deadly poison. In agony, she watches as the bandits take him away for trial and judgment.

Scene VI. Unable to escape his executioners, The Temptress watches helplessly as The Black Swordsman is tortured and judged. She turns against the group to reveal her feelings for The Black Swordsman and betrayal of the group. Unmoved by her pleas the bandits continue, she watches as The Black Swordsman dies and the bandits dance celebratory around in triumph. The Black Swordsman awakens from death and reveals that not only was he The Prophet but is now immortal Celestial King.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Raissa at the BCF

The Black Choreographers Festival 2010 announces a star-studded celebration with choreography by some of the most daring choreographers of our time! This includes the artistic director of Push Dance Company, Raissa Simpson.

See the whole Article click here

Dance Mission Theater
February 19 ,20 & 21 will feature the following choreographers:

Adia Whitaker - New York
Robert Henry Johnson - San Francisco
Deborah Vaughan - Oakland
Reggie Savage - Oakland
Chloe Arnold - Los Angeles
Raissa Simpson - San Francisco
Corey Action Harris - Oakland
Amara Tabor Smith - Oakland
Tania Santiago - San Francisco
Roseanglea Silvestre w/ Kendra Kimbrough Barnes - Brazil/Oakland
Raissa Simpson is the 2010 CHIME recipient! She will receive funding for one-year to work with dance educator and choreographer Cathleen McCarthy.
CHIME Recipients Announced
SF Bay Area recipients are:
Christian Burns, independent dance artist and Co-Founder of The Foundry and RAWdance Co-Founders Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein; Choreographer and dance educator Cathleen McCarthy and Raissa Simpson, Artistic Director of Push Dance Company; and Charya Burt, choreographer, teacher and founder of Charya Burt Cambodian Dance, and choreographer and dancer Tara Catherine Pandeya.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

FCC Free Radio 107.3 FM 8-9pm Nov 18

Listen as Raissa Simpson announces Push's upcoming 5th Anniversary and new collaboration with JooWan Kim's Ensemble Mik Nawooj.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wanda's Picks

May 2009

Push Dance Company presents ‘Mixed Messages’

Raissa Simpson, artistic director of Push Dance Company, was last seen as Mr. Jones in Jacinta Vlach’s very successful work, “Animal Farm,” on its way to Jacob’s Pillow. Some of you might have caught the excerpt as a part of the Living Word Project last year, which I loved. Story was the focus in the 2008 preview, where now, with the more developed characters and dance pieces - solos and company numbers set against a lovely musical score and a changing visual landscape, light and dark images projected on a blank wall - the work has shifted from literal to abstract.

Taken as a completely separate work, withholding the inclination to compare one to the other, this “Animal Farm” aesthetically succeeds, attributable to a fine cast, among them, Michael Velez, as Old Major, Rashad Pridgen as Napoleon, Jacinta Vlach as Snowball, Lynda Gutierrez as Sqealer, Jetta Martin as Boxer and Takeo Wong as Clover and, of course, Raissa Simpson as Mr. Jones.

I enjoyed Simpson’s portrayal of the ousted farmer in the Orwellian tale, where animals take over a farm. In the first solo in the work, marvelously choreographed and produced, Simpson’s excellent performance set the tone for the high level of dance/theatre to come.

Push Dance Company’s annual home season opens with “Mixed Messages,” May 2-3, 8 p.m., a lush evening length work on multiracial America. “Mixed Messages” explores messages of race, power and identity through dance, video art and atmospheric sound. Collaborators include video artist Marlon Sagana Ingram, Third Street Youth Center and Clinic, soundscape artist Kyle Canfield and pianist Joo Wan Kim.

The program is at ODC Dance Commons, 351 Shotwell St., San Francisco. Tickets are $18 general, $15seniors, students and children 12 and under. Tickets are available online and by calling (415) 863-9834.