19 Sep 2018
Interview | In Conversation with Jacqueline Dugal
Meet Jacqueline Dugal, a contemporary dancer, choreographer, and educator who’s currently on our radar. Influenced by science, psychology, and social issues, Dugal reveals their journey in acknowledging themselves as a true artist, and how they fuse technology with their craft.
Lightbox: We like what you do. Tell us a little a bit about your work…
Jacqueline Dugal: Thanks Lightbox! I’m primarily a performer and choreographer. Using contemporary dance as my medium, I enjoy setting work that is confrontational as to disrupt routine and rid the fake façade that mainstream society often outwardly displays. Psychology, science, and social issues often influence my work. My aesthetic is grounded, physical, animalistic and usually on the dark side. I’m not interested in the pretty things – we see enough of that in the media, I’m interested in the ugly, the contorted, and the beauty in the deconstructed, distorted and the unusual – that’s my type of beautiful.
LB: What inspires your artistry?
JD: People, personal experience, memory, readings, theories, science, psychology, and passionate opinions inspire my work. Sometimes my work begins from language and concept into a full movement work and sometimes the movement seeps out of my body and I discover the words to describe it later on in the process.
LB: Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
JD: No. I wanted to be many things growing up – a house painter, a ballerina, a forensic anthropologist – but I always knew that I wanted to stay curious, to be an independent thinker and creator with room to take risks and fail in order to find the answers I was looking for – so I guess maybe part of me always knew I wanted to be an artist.
I think it took time for me to truly feel confident calling myself “an artist”. I was “a dancer” for a long time, but becoming an artist took time, work, research, and letting go.
LB: What comes first? Art or technology?
JD: Art. Always. (I’m still the type of person who prefers a paper planner over Google Calendar.) My artistic work usually begins in the body, then finds it’s way onto paper, sometimes technological elements will present as inspiration or tools to work with but those elements usually come second for me as a way to amplify the work or have a conversation with it. However, art & technology are not always separate….that’s when I find them most fascinating.
LB: So what’s next?
JD: In the immediate future, I’m finishing up a Queens tour in conjunction with Queensboro dance Festival with a work I started 4 years ago and have revived this year, Tension of the Release, which closes at Queen’s Theatre October 14th. Then I’m looking forward to diving head first into research on a new work – lots of studio time, reading, writing, and reflecting in addition to finalizing all the moving pieces for Dugal Dance 2019.
LB: Name three artists to watch and tell us why you chose them?
JD: This is real hard to narrow down….
Alexeya – she combines both loves of music & dance beautifully and is fierce as always! Kelsey Rondeau aka Kalandra Bankhead is a fabulous performer expanding the edges of modern dance and drag in ways that amaze and captivate me. Jamie Amadruto aka VØID, Producer, Musician & DJ – Jamie provides a new feel of music depicting raw emotions and his beats are grimey and delicious! (He also happens to be the love of my life.)
Follow her on Instagram at: @jacquelinedugal
Feature Image: Jacqui Dugal performing solo Redux, a collaboration between choreographer Jacqui Dugal and composer Brett Copeland, at COCO Dance Festival in Trinidad & Tobago’s Queen’s Hall