Chen uses movement as a vehicle to heal wounds, share stories and better understand our human existence. The visceral experience of witnessing a moving body can elicit a profound sense of empathy and she believes that empathy is vital in navigating today's cultural landscape.
In 2013, Jessica made a miraculous journey back to the stage after suffering a horrific car accident, which rendered her in a coma for 13 days after eight hours of brain surgery. She shares her story and fight to live through her work as a choreographer, speaker, and Artistic Director of J CHEN PROJECT.
She holds a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara and continued her dance training at The Ailey School and Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts.
Her choreography credits include Off-Broadway Minetta Lane Theater (2016), Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2015, 2016), Ai Weiwei: The Seed for Brooklyn Museum (2014), TEDx Semester at Sea (2014), Cornell University’s Celebration of Asian American Women (2011), World Expo - USA Pavilion in Shanghai, China (2010) and Amnesty International Arts Festival in Washington D.C. (2009).
She has taught master classes, workshops and seminars at institutions such as Semester at Sea, Yale, Boston University, Rosie’s Theater Kids, Do-One (Japan), Jazz DU Funk (China), Mt. Holyoke, and Orange County School of the Arts, as well as her alma mater.
Chen was honored as Keynote Speaker at Cornell University’s 2011 Celebration of Asian American Women for her work empowering female leadership within the community. She presented “If I Can Dance It, Then It’s Possible” at the 2014 TEDx organized by Semester at Sea. Chen’s choreography has been presented throughout NYC including NY Live Arts Studio Series, Brooklyn Museum of Art, HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, Ailey Citigroup Theater, DUMBO Dance Festival and Ars Nova. International and National credits include 2010 World Expo USA Pavilion in Shanghai, China and the Amnesty International Arts Festival in Washington D.C. Chen includes her thoughts on "Identity and Marketing in the World of Social Media" as a featured chapter contributor of a new book called A Life In Dance: A Practical Guide.
A chapter on "Identity and Marketing in World of Social Media" written by Jessica Chen.
A Life In Dance aims to broaden the dancer's knowledge of the possibilities available to them by providing inspiring stories of dancers both known and unknown who have trodden these paths. It translates these stories in a tangible way with a resource guide to create a roadmap for a life in dance.