AJ Sharp/SHARP dance collective
I founded SHARP dance collective in 2014 with the mission to create experimental dance driven by the individuality of the performers and a connection to the audience. SDC makes thoughtful and genuine work using movement to communicate the most complex human emotions. Continually blurring the line between “audience” and “performer”, I create dance in unique spaces that allows for an immersive experience and opens up art to a wider audience that would otherwise be left out.
My approach to making dance and working with artists is based on collaboration. I value collaboration between myself and the movers because that drives them to make satisfying choices and acknowledges their individual voices. Through these movement choices, the dancers will be able to share their own stories in the work, solidifying their experience as a collective. I pull from my own past experiences and place those memories in an often bizarre and obscure world. With pop songs, junk food, and whimsical elements, I am able to play with the distortion on dark and funny. In an alternative reality where feeling unsettled is comfortably disturbing, I generally play with speed and duration in a decidedly-off setting. My works campy aesthetic sets up an artifice to later be dissolved by a universal connection of pain, sadness, grief, and hope.
My past traumas have built up an armor that only those closest to me are able to penetrate. In new relationships, I grapple with how much to share about myself and my family because it can be unavoidably heavy. I hope to discover safety in vulnerability by shedding a layer of my own through sharing stories and intimate experiences in my dances.
Bio: AJ Sharp, originally from Michigan, is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. AJ is pursuing her MFA in dance at CSULB while teaching Introduction to Modern courses. She is a graduate of Oakland University with a BFA in dance. While living in NYC for 8 years, AJ worked with artists such as Alexandra Beller, The Creators Collective, Cora Dance, The Equus Projects, The Physical Plant, Tamika Daniels, Take Root Dance, and The Median Movement. She was chosen for Doug Varone’s Choreography Intensive in 2015, where she was mentored by Varone and premiered a new piece at 92 Y. AJ founded SHARP dance collective shortly after and presented works at Triskelion Arts, TADA Youth Theatre, Bogart Gallery, LIC Arts, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Ballet, Spoke the Hub, Mark Morris Dance Theater, as well as flea markets, art galleries, and the sidewalks of Brooklyn. AJ was the Guest Artist in Residence at Oakland University in 2019, where her dance was selected for the American College Dance Association. AJ is excited to continue teaching, performing, and creating at CSULB.