Jasmine and Lita Albuquerque

Members of an LA art family, Jasmine and Lita are a dancer and an installation artist respectively.
Here Jasmine takes us through pieces of her process and training. All photos by Sarah Soquel Morhaim.

 What do you do? How did you get started?

JASMINE: I am a choreographer, dancer, performer and dance instructor. I started dancing when I was 9 and teaching dance by the time I was 21. I trained in classical ballet and jazz and in 2004 I lived in Budapest, Hungary where I began my studies of contemporary dance. After returning to Los Angeles I met, trained with and began dancing for Ryan Heffington and my dance life continued to unfold from there. I performed Psychodance with Ryan for many years and by 2010 started my own dance company called WIFE with Nina McNeely and Kristen Leahy. 

Person by cacti in a handwoven coat, evoking a sense of mystery.

What do you love most about your work?

J: Experiencing mini deaths every time I am about to set foot on stage. It fascinates me how much courage it takes to perform and how beautiful it is to release everything I know of as safe and comfortable every time I show work to an audience. The consistent practice of being vulnerable becomes empowering at some point. It's like peeling the onion of one's psyche. 

Two women walk on a brick path, one in a pink batik dress, the other in black batik dress, situated in a meadow.

What are you working on now?

J: Curating a evening length showcase of choreographers I love to perform for a couple weekends this summer. Just finished creating two new pieces. Ready to seek out what my incredible friends have to say with their bodies. 

Two women on sitting on grass in batik dresses, and a solo dancer on a hillside in a matching dress.

Where do you find inspiration?

J: Empty spaces. Music. Bodies. Gravity. My relationship to space and energy. 

Person in colorful dress on a brick path, one photo standing with arms outstretched, the other bending in a yoga pose.

Is there any music you’re loving right now?

J: The Blaze. The new Beach House record. Colleen. Eartheater.

Rear view of a person in a vibrant knee-length dress against a hilly backdrop, grey hair flowing.

Describe your perfect day off.

J: Ocean. Books. Walking. Music. Plus a kiss or two in between each of these activities. 

Side-by-side photos of a person outdoors, wearing a patterned sleeveless top and blue pants.

How does the city you live in influence your creativity?

J: The people I run into that live in the city help me a lot. The ideas we bounce when together. 

When I am in a city I do not know, I like to get lost to feel how the walls, the streets, the color, the plant life, the sounds and the smells can toss any sense of mundanity out of my brain. 

Individual with long hair leans against a tree, amidst a hilly landscape.

You’re hosting the dinner party of your dreams. Who is invited (anyone, dead or alive) and what’s for dinner?

J: Mussels in white wine sauce and butter with tons of crusty french bread and booze. 

Laurie Anderson

Richard D James

Isadora Duncan

Marie Chouinard

Louise Lecavalier

my father Richard Croissant 

my mum Lita Albuquerque and my sister Isabelle

“Lush green hills with varied vegetation, a serene and possibly remote natural landscape.

What are the top 3 places we should check out in your city?

J: The Sweat Spot dance studio. Zebulon. The Troubadour music venue.

Individual on a stone path in a garden, standing against rolling hills, wearing a handwoven coat and black tights.

What advice do you have to offer someone who is just starting out?

J: When you make a mistake, live in it. Mistakes are sometimes your best work. If no one walks away or dislikes your work, you are not trying hard enough. Art should invoke feelings both disruptive and beautiful.

 

 

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