Spotlight in the Sphere: Steven Jasso Talks On the Boards Festival with Janusphere Dance Company

Dancer Steven Jasso joined Janusphere Dance Company at the On the Boards Festival in Seattle, Washington June 17 - 19, performing in our world premiere of Object.

We sat down with Steven after we returned from On the Boards to talk about the Festival experience.

How did performing at On the Boards meet/differ from your expectations?

I didn't know what to expect so I tried to let go of making any assumptions.

That being said, I enjoyed working with the production crew at On the Boards. They were professional, diligent, and genuinely cared about helping us make our piece the best it could be. Even taking time to let us make last minute lighting changes before the second of two shows that weekend.

 Steven Jasso, Dancer Janusphere Dance Company

Steven Jasso, Dancer Janusphere Dance Company

As a dancer, please describe the evolution of Object from the rehearsal phase to the performances.

The evolution of any art is driven by failure. Sometimes big failures, but mostly small failures. Trying to find out what works and what doesn't. And in finding out what doesn't work, you lose material that may have been your favorite or that you came up with.

There were plenty of nights leading up to On the Board where we all sat watching the rehearsal video from that day discussing what was reading and what needed to be cut, changed, or modified. Some good stuff got left out because of time and continuity. But in the end we need to put our egos aside for the benefit and clarity of the expression. 

What was the most exciting thing about performing at the On the Boards New Works Festival?

The most exciting part of my On the Boards experience was working on a new work that I was able to make a creative contribution to and that it was a dance that I believed in. I was expressing an idea that was taking a closer look at our own human condition without being pretentious.

It was such a clean simple expression, almost any one could relate to with out needing an encyclopedia of dance/theater references. It wasn't esoteric or bombastic. It was visceral.

 Janusphere dancer Steven Jasso rehearsing Darion Smith's  Object

Janusphere dancer Steven Jasso rehearsing Darion Smith's Object

Did you see other performances at the Festival? 

Oh boy... I enjoyed many of the pieces presented in our showcase. The Three Yells had a "deconstructed" retelling of the ballet Giselle. But it wasn't like that deconstructed latte sh*t that hipsters have been serving up. Veronica (artistic director/choreographer) was able to distill an epic ballet into a potent expression of its key themes of madness, death, love, and grief. Whether you know anything about Giselle or not, the piece created provocative and engaging imagery you couldn't help but get caught up in.

David Harvey had an entrancing solo set mostly to silence. The flow was nebulous and very fitting. I wasn't able to see all of it; his solo was before us in the performance. But the quality of movement was specific and detailed.