Dancer Jesselito Bie on creating a fantasia of Asian Americana
When Jesselito Bie co-founded Steamroller Dance Company over 20 years ago, he wanted to create performances to address the spread of HIV/AIDS. Since then, Steamroller has performed all over the Bay Area, addressing experiences of marginalized people through dance.
This year, the company is performing Siamese Dream, a dance production that combines the Hollywood glamor of the musical The King & I with the physicality of kung fu movies to create a critical fantasia of Asian Americana.
Bie sat down for a conversation with KALW’s Jen Chien about the past and present of his work. And a note: Jen has been a dancer with Steamroller in the past.
BIE: Is this a queer company? Is this an Asian American company? Right now, it’s a melding of the two, which is so satisfying to me—it's like, 'oh FINALLY!'