Alyssa Gersony (b.1990) is a Queens-based artist making contemporary dance in New York City since 2012. Her interdisciplinary solo work was commissioned by Gibney Dance as a part of the inaugural Work Up Emerging Artist Series, and she has been invited to present work at Movement Research at the Judson Church, Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts, Green Space, the Center for Performance Research, the Actors Fund Art Center, and Brooklyn Fire Proof.
She is currently a research assistant to Jaamil Olawale Kosoko and previously worked as choreographic assistant to Thomas Lehmen and Grisha Coleman. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Iowa, under the Iowa Arts Fellowship.
Alyssa graduated from Arizona State University with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Interdisciplinary Performance. She is deeply influenced by socially engaged art practices, and while she isn't dancing, she serves children and adults with visual impairments as a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist and Orientation and Mobility Specialist.
She is a Perkins-Roman Endorsee in Cortical Visual Impairment, more information here.
As an interdisciplinary choreographer who is primarily interested in making solo dance works that I both create and perform, my work is layered with questions regarding identity, subjecthood, personal history and episodic memory. I’ve explored topics of racialization, surrealism, mental time travel, institutionalization, and autoethnography through solo modes of performance that blends intermedia, light installation, performance art and contemporary dance. My artistic practice is built upon a socially-engaged research: What are the ways in which the visual representation of white people in Western culture can be seen as racial imagery? How can choreographic and performance processes undermine racism and make space for a reclamation of personal identity? How are notions of debility, prognosis and capacity complicating the contemporary role of a fully-abled body dancing?
Within this world of experimentation, I view my artistic goals as existing on three intersectional planes: as aesthetic inquiry, as embodied inquiry, and as ethical inquiry. My aesthetic inquiry relates directly to my creative process in choreography. Here I am interested in searching for virtuosity in dialectical and paradoxical frameworks: How can the politics of visibility help deconstruct ideas of representation and reality in performance?
My embodied inquiry relates more specifically to an expansion of physical movement range: How have histories of Eurocentric power shaped the way my body understands movement and how am I held accountable for histories of cultural appropriation? My ethical inquiry looks more closely at my positionality in the field of contemporary experimental performance. I’m committed to making dances that examine my cultural history and make time for self-education in relation to labor, class and access. I’m distinctly curious about looking at these topics in the context of urban and rural environments, inviting conversation around local/global scale and connection.