Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company Performance - February 11

Event Type
Event Description

Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company will re-emerge after a 7 year absence

After a long hiatus within the dance world, Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company will re-emerge with 15 new works, performed over two nights, from Derek Jay-Son Rusch, Mary Tisa and dancers.  Dancers will move with ease as they create bodily forms of letting go and finding personal refuge within each piece.  Accompanied by video and intricate movement, dancers will fly through space and embody the pull of gravitational force while maintaining their equilibrium.


On Friday, February 10, Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company will be perform the show New Dance Series with seven new pieces. New Dance Series is comprised of four pieces choreographed by new emerging artists: Monica Carrow, Maggie Priore, Amanda Ramirez and Dalton Rhodes.  Included in this performance, a preview of Saturday night’s performance, Resurface will premiere: “Emerge”, “Community” and “Cairn.”


On Saturday, February 11, dance enthusiasts will be able to view the full performance of Resurface,” a 10 piece autobiographical dance performance about the grieving process of death, adoption, new beginnings, identity and biracial love.  “Resurface” will feature principal company members Monica Carrow, Jimmy Hibbard, Courtney Martin, Tayne Murphy, Maggie Priore, Amanda Ramirez and Dalton Rhodes.  Guest dancers include: Quincie Bean, Molly McMillan, Meghan Rhodes and Shailey Rodriquez.


About Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company

Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company (JTDC is contemporary/modern dance company dedicated to making art universally appealing with choreography as an outlet of emotions and stories. JTDC reflects on the diversity of Chicago with each dancer bringing their own experiences of trials and tribulation to the company. Their experiences will be imported and expressed with choreography and performance. A primary goal for the company is to create compelling choreography that is provocative, intimate and universal for the audience. The company will also focus on community-based residencies and outreach activities in the community.

Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company was founded by Derek Jayson Rusch. The company’s name came from the middle name of the founder. The name originated from his orphaned period during the Vietnam War in 1974. Van Ngoc Son was the name given to him by a nun that cared for the orphans at the New Haven Nursery in Vietnam. During that time, the U.S. Government launched a program called U.S. Operation Babylift.  Jayson was part of the program and was brought to the US in 1975 to be adopted by his loving family in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Derek Jay-Son formed the company in Washington, DC in 2000 and received great response from the Washington Post and DC community. The company became his “diary” of trials and tribulations of his unique life.


In 2002, Mary Tisa and Derek Jay-Son merged their artistic backgrounds to form Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company.  Both artists are Asian American and adopted focusing on their actual conflicts of growing up in America with their choreography.

Chicago: New Haven at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Inaside Chicago Dance Company Performance, Core Project, MOVE Concert, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, THAW!, SCENE 32; Nicole Gifford and Marquez Dance Project, Full Circle Danztheatre Festival, Rebound Dance Festival, Solestance, National: RAD Dance Festival (MI), Detroit Dance City Festival (MI), DUMBO Dance Festival (NY), Dancers Redux (WI), Dance Place (DC), Evolving Arts Theatre (NY)


For more information visit: www.jaysontisadancecompany.com


"Derek Jay-Son Rusch's ambitious "Resurface" fills the stage with 13 dancers, most forming the quirky backdrop for two combatants."

By Laura Molzahn, Chicago Tribune Writer


...Tisa’s showy, intense, self-choreogrphed solo”

— By Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune Arts Critic


“If a complicated, fiery conjuring is what Rusch was looking for, he succeeded; for me, though, the most satisfying moments were the quieter ones in which nearly all 13 dancers did a pass of “step together, look” across the stage, which brought a chill up my spine."

by Lauren Warnecke, Art Intercepts


"The choreographer has a knack for arranging and spacing groups on stage. Jay-Son has some compelling stories to tell; he is still learning how to tell them."

By Lisa Traiger, Washington Post Staff Writer


“Heavy Material, for the most part. Yet Jay-Son says that though his works deal with his own pain, their meaning is far more universal. “I actually think that they’ll touch a lot of subjects in people’s lives,” he says. “If people have their own meanings, I’ll be happy.” 

By Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post Staff Writer 

Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary


Center on Halsted

3656 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60613
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