Jessica Lang is an American director and choreographer based in New York City. Since 1999, Lang has created more than 100 original works on companies worldwide including American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the National Ballet of Japan, and her eponymous company Jessica Lang Dance, among many others. For opera, Lang directed and choreographed Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at Glimmerglass, presented at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, 2017. She choreographed San Francisco Opera’s new production of Aida, revived at Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, LA Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2024. This season she will choreograph WNO’s new production of Turandot.

Lang was Artistic Director of Jessica Lang Dance from 2011-2019. The company performed in over 85 cities presented by venues worldwide. She is the recipient of a Bessie Award, Arison award, Martha Hill Mid-Career Award, fellowships at NY City Center and NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts, and named a Caroline Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence at Princeton University. Lang graduated from The Juilliard School and is a former member of Twyla Tharp’s company, THARP!

For her Jazz Icons: A Fine Romance premiere, Jessica Lang infuses her choreography with improvisation and a deep appreciation for jazz’s legacy. She draws inspiration not only from the music itself but also from the art of Henri Matisse, whose cutouts and jazz series were influenced by the same spirit of improvisation and experimentation. Lang’s work emphasizes freedom, trust, communication, and individual expression, much like the jazz musicians she honors in her piece. By exploring movement and playing with dance, she creates a vibrant and ever-evolving physicality that mirrors the spontaneity of jazz itself.

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