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Bio

Jessica Pearl Asteria Bailey is a multi-disciplinary artist born and raised on the westside of Chicago. Her primary mediums are digital collage, dance, and theater. She graduated from Princeton University in 2019 where she majored in Sociology and received certificates in African American Studies. She currently attends Antioch University New England where she is working on receiving an MA in Dance Movement Therapy: Couple and Family Therapy.

She is a self-taught digital collage artist who is drawn to the form as both an aesthetic and therapeutic practice. For Jess, digital collaging is a practice of making sense of broken pieces to give them new meaning. These new meanings serve to validate human emotional realities that often go unseen or unnoticed by a society hyperfocused on facts. Many of her pieces are self-portraits, as her emotions are one of the best case studies for helping them make sense of themselves and the world they are responding to.

Jess's dance background is rooted in African American social dance, hip-hop, as well as musical theater. While at Princeton, she was a member of Bodyhype Dance Company, where she choreographed all 4 years and served as Assistant Artistic Director for 1 year.  As an aspiring Dance/Movement Therapist, she hopes to provide group therapy spaces that use dance and movement to create more life-sustaining, embodied practices for those who have been oppressed and deemed disposable by our society. Additionally, she hopes to refashion the existing structural supports for dance, casting movement not just as an aestheticized practice open to a few, but as a way of life open to everyone.


As a theater-maker Jess is passionate about creating and engaging with devised pieces and nurturing new works from scratch. As a Musical Theater Certificate at Princeton she was able to spend her senior year working entirely on new works, including one of her own, A Spectrum Unspoken: An Original Choreopoem. Jess was the choreographer for the piece and her collaborators Feyisola Soetan and Janelle Spence were the writer and director respectively. Jess and her collaborators aimed to create a supportive space for people with little to no dance/performance experience and a space to engage with issues of race and gender on-campus as they pertained to Black women's experiences. As the choreographer for the project, Jess weaved the thematic underpinnings together by using childhood games and improvised explorations as a way to illuminate the common physical languages we share and the oppressive forces that color our interactions.

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