Larissa Velez-Jackson (LVJ) is a NYC-based choreographer and multi-platform artist. She uses improvisation as a main tool for research and creation. Her practices yield dance, sound, speech, and deep humor, making contemporary art’s critical discourse accessible to audiences. LVJ has presented work at numerous NYC venues such as: Bushwick Starr, Roulette, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Art and Design, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, American Realness Festival at Abrons Arts Center, and The Chocolate Factory Theater. In 2011, she launched a song-and-dance collaboration with her husband Jon Velez-Jackson called Yackez. Yackez most recently presented their two act theatrical event at New York Live Arts in March 2017. Described in New York Magazine’s blog, Bedford and Bowery, “Whether it’s rapping, dancing, or throwing down in the (wrestling) ring, their work is high-energy, silly, odd, and even chaotic at times, going from spectacle to cartoon to pop culture critique and back again.”
The year 2016, LVJ’s tenth year of making experimental dance, fulfilled the famous Martha Graham adage “it takes ten years to make a dancer,” or in this case a choreographer. LVJ was nominated for a 2016 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and was awarded the Foundation for Contemporary Arts' Grant to Artists award, as well as residencies with Mount Tremper Arts (with Yackez), Gibney Dance Center DiP and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space (with Yackez). Often employing the use of DJ programs for computer and handheld devices in her dance work, LVJ enjoys DJ’ing for galas, parties, and special events as LVJjay. Parallel to her performance career, LVJ teaches mind/body wellness and fitness classes, teaching at 92 St Y and West Side Y in Manhattan for twelve years, specializing in the older adult population. Her recent projects "Give It To You Stage" with Yackez and "Zapatografía/Shoegraphy" at Bushwick Starr incorporated a cast of senior dance-fitness students. Her next solo venture is a choreographic residency at the historic Harkness Dance Center at 92Y, 2017-18, where she will further the research of her interdisciplinary performance practice, the Star Crap Method.