Jon & Quason Arnold
Matthew Edward Pasterisa is an talented and gifted choreographer whose recent work has graced international audiences on stage and video. Mr. Pasterisa, popularly known as "Matt" was born and raised in East Harlem and gained much of his early dance training from local community artists, the NYC underground hip hop culture, local West African dance classes, and his neighborhood community center in the James Weldon Johnson NYC Housing Authority development. You can also see the influence of his Afro-Cuban background integrated in his choreographic style. Matt’s style of movement is smooth, sharp, and precise, similar to the poly-rhythmic melodies of Afro-Cuban music. His talent was recognized at an early age. At the age of eighteen, Matt was presented with an opportunity to teach a dance class that was open to everyone in the community inside of a basement. Slowly, but surely his classes began to grow which showed him that his community supported and believed in his dreams. Currently, Matt continues to with Azealia Banks as her choreographer, artistic director and dancer during her touring season. He also choreographed Ms. Banks music videos "1991", "Luxury", and her latest hit single "Chasing Time". His work can also be seen in the Kanye West video, "FADE" starring Teyana Taylor, which received the "Best Dance Performance" at the Soul Train Music Awards, as well as the 2017 MTV VMA “Best Choreography”. His most recent work can be seen on artist, Bianca on a recent episode of Love & Hip Hop. Matt cites Fatima Robinson, Tina Landon, Travis Payne, Hi-Hat, Cicely Olisa, Wade, Jonte and Dana Foglia as influential choreographers whose work inspires him. Matt’s choreographic credits include work with Teyanna Taylor, Azealia Banks, and Ester Dean. He also credits his mentor, William Green, for teaching him professionalism, organizational skills, paying attention to details. Matt is known for focusing on the task, knowing and understanding the needs of the artists, and creating work that tells a story through clear interpretation of the music and lyrics. His teaching experiences include residencies at Harvard University, SUNY New Paltz and Keystone University. Matthew currently teaches industry level classes at Ripley Studios and continues to give back to his community by teaching free classes to youth and young adults who cannot afford classes at Manhattan dance studios. Matt's mission in life is to inspire young artist to do anything in life no matter the obstacles that may come their way. He strives to break the thought of needing approval from others when we were given gifts by God to share with each other. Matt's drive is fueled by young creators who are following their dreams.