Meet choreographer Jessica Lang, whose production of Stabat Mater (November 1–2) is one of the highlights of this year's White Light Festival


Top three influences (artistic or otherwise)?
My parents, my husband, and Mark Morris.

First live performance you remember seeing?
Swan Lake at Pennsylvania Ballet. I remember watching the orchestra more than the dance. I started taking violin lessons right after that.

Last live performance you saw?
Washington National Opera's production of Aida.

Favorite city to play?
Chicago.

Hidden talent?
Memorization. Not sure if that's a talent but I can remember and memorize a lot.

Artist or album you have on repeat?
Anything I am currently creating to.

Top three pieces of advice for aspiring artists?
"Do" is the most important action. You can talk and plan, but you have to do to get something done. Pay attention and communicate details. Never assume.

First paying gig?
Teaching dance when I was in the 9th grade.

Latest/current project?
I just created a new work for The Gift for American Ballet Theater's Fall Season Gala at the Koch Theater, and ABT and Pacific Northwest Ballet are both presenting my ballets in their fall seasons. Now my company is in its touring season, but we head into a new creation of a major work before the holidays.

Country (or city) you'd most like to visit?
I travel so much I am happy when I get time at home.

First time you realized you wanted to be an artist?
I was around 14. Until then I thought dance was a hobby.

What you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
It will never be easy, but it will be worth it.

You hope someone comes away from one of your performances feeling…?
Inspired, and remembering the moments that resonated in their soul.

Next goal or challenge you're setting for yourself?
To shut off technology and take a break at least once a day.