PUSHLab at LINES Dance Center takes workshop participants to the stage

PUSH Dance Company presents their mixed-genre dance festival for the 3rd consecutive year at ODC Theater Sept 22-24, 2017. For more information or to reserve tickets follow this link. In the festival’s Program B, workshop participants of PUSHLab, which was hosted at LINES Dance Center, will have a chance to perform at this beautiful theater amongst other local and national artists. We had a chance to catch up with PUSHLab’s choreographer this year and PUSH Dance Company member, Kao Vey Saephanh, to hear more about how his process has been creating a premiere with his workshop dancers.

Kao Vey Saephanh


Tell us a little bit about your dance background.
I received my MFA from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts and my BFA from San Francisco State University. Some of my dance credits include dancing for Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Cathleen McCarthy, Annie Rosenthal Parr, Nguyen Dance Company, and having performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Currently, I co-direct LV Dance Collective, am a principal choreographer for SF Movement Art Festival, and a dancer for Raissa Simpson with PUSH Dance Company. I am honored to be the choreographer for PUSHLab this year.


What type or work or concept are you exploring for your piece in PUSHfest?
Two years ago, I lost a loved one to cancer. Due to this loss, I have taken an interest in Life After Death, Spiritualism, and Near-Death-Experiences. The focus of these subject matters provides us with hope, that there is the possibility of life after death. Perhaps, this life we know, isn’t the end of our known existence, as there very well could be a place that lies beyond our own physical realm of knowledge to mankind. That belief inspired me to create this work. I will be collaborating with Julie Locke Yoga and some of her students. Their chanting voices will be the complement to the music in this piece.

What are you most excited about the opportunity to teach/choreograph for PUSHLab?
I am most eager and excited about creating a brand new piece with the hope that it will expand and further the artistic nature of the dancers in a new light.

What do you hope your dancers will get out of the experience?
Always to excel and exceed their limits by pushing past their comfort zones in order to help them grow as artists and dancers. PUSHLab provides the opportunity for them to perform in a beautiful theater; it will be a great experience for them to perform in a nice venue and share their passion with the audience.

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?
One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein, “The only real valuable thing is your intuition.” My advice to young choreographers is simply to always follow their gut instincts and their intuition.

Kao’s PUSHLab workshop dancers will be featured in Program B: Sat, Sept 24 at 8pm & Sun, Sept 25 at 7:30pm. See you there! 

Photos by Matt Haber & Linda Saephan