Artistic Director

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Avery-Jai

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"I gave Don’t Ask Why its idiosyncratic name to engage and inspire people to be open and honor their experiences; to live fully, graciously, lovingly and courageously; and to embrace the depth of love as well as the pain of tragedy -- all while having the audacity to accept without questioning. 'Why?' is about the past and the future. I encourage people to be present and active right now. And when that happens, the desire to ask why is eliminated."

 

Returning to the Dallas arts community, Avery-Jai is poised to contribute her version of a contemporary dance company. Equipped with international dance experiences, savvy business acumen, and a genuine love for her hometown, her inspiration is brought to life through her artistic direction of Don't Ask Why.

 

Avery-Jai began dance training with the award-winning Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, Texas, and continued at nationally-known Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. Her aesthetic was her athleticism, and she became known as a “beautiful, natural mover” amongst teachers and choreographers. Most notably, she was recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation with honorable mention in Modern Dance before graduating with high honors from Booker T.

Avery-Jai was awarded academic and dance scholarships to attend New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, where she

Her aesthetic was her athleticism, and she became known as a ‘beautiful, natural mover’

graduated with honors and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2014. Avery-Jai's creative vision goes beyond the traditional trajectory of dance, which is evident in the opportunities she sought during and after college, including Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance in Salzburg, Austria; Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company Dance Journey in Ga’aton, Israel; and Dance Italia in Lucca, Italy. Some of her career highlights include projects in Hamburg, Germany; Florence, Italy; Padua, Italy; and a collaboration at the

Watermill Center in New York. But Avery-Jai considers her work with internationally acclaimed choreographer Crystal Pite and her company Kidd Pivot on their epic piece Polaris to be the opportunity of a lifetime.

 

After choreographing numerous pieces, performing with professionals -- both abroad and in the U.S., and being trained by artists with a plethora of influences, Avery-Jai leads the artistic vision for the development of Don’t Ask Why. She believes it will be her most gratifying body of work, living her life as an evolving artist, business woman and human who moves. She states, "if anyone wants to know what that means, 'Don't Ask Why'."

 

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