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Jessica G. Abejar

Dance

Dance has always been an important part of my life, allowing me to fulfill some lifelong dreams. I've trained in various styles of dance from ballet to hip hop, Filipino folk dance to modern and contemporary dance. I began choreographing and performing at a young age and have been privileged to share my gift and love for dance across the world.

I have worked in various roles in the field and have previously worked at Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation as an arts administrator, BroadwayWorld.com as a dance writer, and Disney Cruise Lines as a performer before starting my own sacred dance company The Moving Prayer. I was also chosen as one of nine emerging leaders in the US dance field to participate in Dance/USA's Institute of Leadership Training; I was mentored by American sacred dance pioneer Carla de Sola.

The Moving Prayer

Founder, Director, Dancer, Choreographer, Instructor

Jessica Abejar of The Moving Prayer dancing. Photo by David Lua.

The Moving Prayer is a sacred dance company that I founded in 2013 after fulfilling a childhood dream of dancing at World Youth Day. Since then, I have shared the gift of dance through presentations and workshops offered around the world, encouraging people to nurture and uplift their mind, body, and spirit while also helping individuals discover and share their talents and follow their dreams.

Learn more on The Moving Prayer website

Performance Samples

Mother

"Mother" is a meditation reflection that depicts the story of the life of Jesus Christ told through the eyes of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The piece uses movement, music, narrative, and costume to enhance this beautiful story told from a unique perspective. I have performed this dance worldwide, including at the Youth Festival at World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, shown here.

Papuri sa Diyos

"Papuri sa Diyos" was presented during the Gloria at the Mass for the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on September 25, 2014, before presiders Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. I coordinated and choreographed the dance, which included several groups ranging in age, background, and faith.

Many Yet One

"Many Yet One" is a modern proclamation of the Scripture passage found in 1 Corinthians 12. The Scripture passage is recited in the styling of spoken word poetry while the dance includes elements of breaking and hip hop.

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi – Dance for Global Peace

"Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi – Dance for Global Peace" is a moving prayer portraying the vivid imagery found in the words of this traditional prayer. This dance promotes peace, harmony, collaboration, trust, and unity through movement and word.

The Archdiocesan Dance Troupe

The Archdiocesan Dance Troupe is a collective of youth and young adult dance groups from across the Archdiocese of New York. We have danced at New York Catholic Youth Day in 2014, 2015, and 2016. I coordinated the Troupe by inviting groups who were interested in performing, by organizing rehearsals for the main event, and by creating a main narrative for the dance. Each group choreographs their own short section of the dance piece and joins in a large group ending and/or beginning section choreographed by myself. Shown here is their first presentation in 2014.

National College "Preaching in Action" Conference

Since 2014, I have taught workshops at the National College “Preaching in Action” Conference, a project of Dominican Youth Movement USA. I introduced students to sacred and liturgical dance while also prepared them for presenting at the Commissioning Liturgy the following day. Each dance I've led is unique- some choreographed by myself, others inspired by their own creative movement, some using props, and some where we encouraged the congregation to follow. The dance seen here was performed in 2018, with music sung by the conference choir.

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