I am a performing artist with a background as an actor both in the United States and in England and have performed as a dancer in ballet and modern dance.
Since 2002, I have created dance/theatre works as a solo-artist and for my past performance collaborative, GROUP, focused on investigating the outsider experience shared by minority groups in American culture. GROUP was an AIRspace Artist-in-Residence at The Jon Sims Center in San Francisco in 2005 and was selected for encore performances in the National Queer Arts Festival in 2006. In 2007, I collaborated with two local choreographers to produce an evening of dance called Shared Space at Dance Mission Theatre in San Francisco. I have also premiered solo-dance/theatre pieces at The Garage, SF, for the Move(men)t Festival, 2009, and at SOMArts for the This Is What I Want Festival, 2011, and at Cal State University East Bay’s Queer Dance Festival, 2012. In 2013, I was selected to perform an original work at the Fresh Fruit Festival in New York City.
In addition to creating work, I have performed in the works of other companies, choreographers, directors, and creators. I was a founding member of the queer, multi-racial, multi-disciplinary performance company Out/Rage (2003-2004) that dealt with issues of race and racism in the gay male community in San Francisco. I danced for two seasons with Company Chaddick, performing in the 20th Anniversary Season. I have also danced with Nancy Karp + Dancers, Dance Through Time, Western Ballet, and Peninsula Ballet. In 2005, I played a character in Eric Rofes' play Test Positive Now at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. I have also been an acting intern at Shakespeare Santa Cruz (1995) and The San Francisco Mime Troupe (1998).
I hold a BA in Drama from U.C. Irvine and studied a year abroad at the University of Warwick, England, playing Louis in Angels In America: Millennium Approaches at Warwick Arts Centre and The National Student Drama Festival. I am a graduate of Naropa University’s Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre: Contemporary Performance, where I studied with guest artists from Tectonic Theatre Company and SITI Company. At Naropa, I trained in Improvisational techniques with Barbara Dilley; in Viewpoints with Wendell Beavers; Grotowski acting with Stephen Wangh; Roy Hart Voice with Ethelyn Friend; and somatic training based in Body-Mind Centering and Experiential Anatomy with Wendell Beavers and Erika Berland. While in the Denver area I also performed with a Butoh company and with Butoh artist Katsura Kan. Workshop training also includes two summer intensives with Joe Goode Performance Group, Rachel Rosenthal's DbD Experience, and a workshop with Forced Entertainment. I also hold a MA in Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.
While living in Chicago from 2012-2016, I created work and performed with local choreographers. I have performed with Victoria Bradford’s A House Unbuilt (HUB) and performed at D49 at Hamlin Park and Harvest Festival with choreographer Melinda Jean Myers. In 2013, I was the 1950’s Man in Josiah McElheny’s opening exhibit at The Arts Club of Chicago. In 2014, I presented a new work, SLAM, for The Chicago Home Theatre Festival and I also created a new improvisation-based dance piece to recordings of Gertrude Stein reading her poetry called If I Told Her: A Portrait for the Chicago Moving Company’s dance festival, D49, at Hamlin Park. If I Told Her: A Portrait, was described by the Chicago Tribune as “simultaneously funny and devastating” and was remounted at Pritzker Park as part of Chicago Dance Month in April 2015. In the summer of 2015, I performed with Erica Mott Productions in her production of the Cowboys and Vikings trilogy at Steelworkers Park in Chicago and in residency at Ragdale.
Back in the San Francisco Bay Area, I continue to create work exploring the outsider experience through the performative synthesis of the moving body with theatrical use of the voice, text, and objects. In 2017, I was a substitute teacher at Alonzo King's LINES Dance Center teaching Contemporary dance classes. Also in 2017, I was selected to co-present a Contact Improvisation workshop at the National Dance Education Organization's Men in Dance Symposium at West Virginia University.
I offer Body Awareness Life Coaching and sessions in Body Awareness and Movement practices for dancers, athletes, and gym-goers. Please visit jasontorreshancock.com for further information and to schedule a session.