Jessi is a dancer, teacher and choreographer from Pittsboro, N.C. She began her training in Chapel Hill N.C. under the instruction and mentorship of Mary Norkus and Melody Eggen. As an undergraduate at Duke University, she pursued a self-designed dance degree with an emphasis in music and education. While at Duke, she studied and performed with various Duke faculty members, Duke’s Modern and African Repertory Ensembles, and with guest artists Billy Siegenfeld of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project and Ron K. Brown/Evidence. After graduation in 2004, Jessi embarked on a teaching and choreographing career that afforded her the opportunity to work and perform both locally and nationally. She spent four years in Denver, Colorado as a member of the internationally acclaimed Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. There she not only danced as a member of the ensemble, she also served as Assistant to the Artistic Director, Assistant Cleo II (CPRD second company) Director and Assistant Company Rehearsal Director. She currently resides in North Carolina where she continues to teach and choreograph.
Christina Knight earned her Ph.D. in African American Studies with a primary field in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at Haverford College. Before joining the Haverford faculty, she was a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at Bowdoin College as well as a Ford Foundation Diversity Fellow. Knight’s work examines the connection between embodied practices and identity, the relationship between race and the visual field, and the queer imaginary. Her current book project focuses on representations of the Middle Passage in contemporary American visual art and performance.