Abdiel Jacobsen is a jack of all trades. A member of the Martha Graham Dance Company since 2011, Jacobsen dances principal Graham roles and performs in works by Nacho Duato, Robert Wilson, Sonya Tayeh and Luca Veggetti, to name a few.
But when he's not dancing with MGDC, he's teaching or competing in Latin ballroom. You might have caught a glimpse of his suave moves in last year's "Pantsuit Power" video, combining everything from salsa to the hustle and partnering with fellow Graham company member Peiju Chien-Pott.
"Both my parents have a strong passion for music and dance," says Jacobsen, "and it was always prevalent in our house." His mother would teach him West African dances while his father, a professional trumpet musician, played jazz music. "Because of this influence, my movement style reflects my experience with rhythm and its flow between music and movement."
After performing a work of his own titled
A Walk In Our Heels for the Cape Dance Festival on July 29 and with the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Vail Dance Festival on August 11, he will take the stage of the New York International Salsa Congress on September 1.
My best running buddy was on my left. To my right, a total stranger with whom I'd suddenly become competitive. As the 15-person group headed into a two-minute push, the instructor got hyped, and the remix blasting Rihanna's "We Found Love" transitioned to "Smooth Criminal."