Choreographer does not begin to describe the force that is Just in Kennedy. Creative expression through movement personified, Just in is poised to take the world by storm.
WBM: Who is Just in Francis Kennedy?
JF: An artist, dancer/choreographer, educator, a compassionate and loving person.
WBM: Where are you from?
JF: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
JF: Dance, choreography, art, transformation, stilt-walking, traveling, creation.
WBM: How’d you get involved in dance and choreography?
JF: Throughout my existence, I have always been dancing around but I began dancing more formally while studying at Wesleyan University and Alvin Ailey School.
WBM: When did you know this was something you wanted to pursue?
JF: I guess I’m reminded of this daily when I realize that my curiousity for dance is constant and that my desire to continually learn things about the human experience through dance and the body remains strong.
WBM: What does it mean to be a dancer/choreographer in 2012?
JF: It means very exciting things because being a dancer/choreographer feeds my mind, body & soul in imaginable and unimaginable ways! It also means that I am privileged enough to support myself doing something that brings me so much personal fulfillment and joy! Blessings…
WBM: What are some of the things that inspire you?
JF: Shiny Personalitites, passion, people who include art and healing in their daily practice of life, situations where positive energy is shared and exchanged, the pursuit of happiness, freedom and togetherness, bright colors.
WBM: Why does what you do matter?
JF: Because it affects me and the people around me in transformative ways.
WBM: You just wrapped up Danceweb 2011. Mind telling us a little about it, and how it was received?
JF: The danceWEB Scholarship is a full scholarship to attend ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival, one the largest and best international dance festivals in the world. From among approx. 1017 applicants, I was blessed enough to be selected by an artistic committee for one of the 66 places in the Scholarship Program.
WBM: You fuse a variety of dance techniques and styles in your pieces. How has growing up on St. Croix contributed to your innovative choreography?
JF: Growing up on St. Croix was extremely influential in the sense that I grew up partially in the theater department of Good Hope School where I was exposed to so many different styles of dance and theater. This experience combined with growing up around a lot of creative island types sparked my hunger for theater and dance and also remains a huge impact on my work which often represents a collage of all my past creative experiences with St. Croix being a central point of reference.
WBM: Define success
JF: Success for me is believing whole-heartedly in yourself and your contributions to the world and it also means being as self-sustainable as possible.
WBM: Biggest Accomplishment?
JF: Creating my own work that has been shown internationally after concentrating on being a performer in the work of others for most of my dance career!
WBM: What’s one thing that many don’t know about you?
JF: I was born premature!
WBM: What’s next?
JF: I am currently finishing my MA degree in choreography in Berlin.
WBM: Any advice for those looking to pursue their goals and dreams?
JF: Take time to experiment and reflect on your goals and dreams. And whatever you do commit to it 100% even if it’s short-lived.
photo credit: Sven Hagolani