Dance Bio

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My name is Chien­-Hwe and I am a Taiwanese ­American, New York trained, Boston­ based dancer, teacher and choreographer. I got introduced to movement when my parents put me in tai­chi classes at the young age of 3, then fell in love with dancing after my very first ballet class with Irene Merrill when I was 7.

Several local Nutcrackers later, I was then accepted into the Ailey School Summer Intensive for another 2 summers. I trained with Denise Vale, former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, who told me I had something fierce inside of me.  I then decided to follow my heart to New York City where I studied full time at The Ailey School while getting a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University. I was invited to dance as a student for three City Center seasons with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater  where I met Judith Jamison who told me of a “beautiful movement quality.”  Los Angeles lured me into the off Broadway theater scene when I was invited to choreograph and perform in the premiere of “Chinese Men Don’t Boogie.”

I began to expand my wings when I studied a martial arts, found freedom at Bates Dance Festival with Kathleen Hermesdorf, discovered my core with the Joseph Pilates legacy, then performed as a soloist in all of the repertory for the AFSD (Ailey/Fordham Student Dancers) with renowned modern dance pioneers (Avila/Weeks, Kevin Wynn/The Collection, Ronald K. Brown, Francesca Harper, Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey and more). Being 1 of 11 invited into Alonzo King/LINES Ballet’s professional intensive allowed me the freedom to express my innate impulses which has completely grounded me as a dancer. And having the chance to work with Francesca Harper gave me permission to own the movement and unleash my unique voice.

I have always loved teaching ever since I began when I was 14, and continued to share what I had learned at The Ailey School as a young adult immersed in the dance scene of New York City. I deepened my love of teaching and making dances at each school at which I taught with each age group and style in each city I traveled; it still feels great to know that I am sharing something that can only create goodness in ourselves, in each other and in the world. Yoga finally caught my inner eye so I completed my first yoga certification from OM Yoga Center of New York where I immersed my mind into stillness/meditation and the practices of Tibetan Buddhism. I then studied again with Ana Forrest in Hong Kong at her Teacher Training Foundation Course. Ana gave me permission to give myself permission to experience a sacred connection to my inner truth. No joke.

Upon arriving in Boston after a quick love affair with So You Think You Can Dance’s Top 100, I was invited by Bessie award winning Philip Hamilton/Voices to collaborate in several private concerts, performed at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Harvard University, Museum of Fine Arts, Somerville Theatre while teaching original dance styles and master classes at Boston University and beyond in the Greater Boston area.  Invited to dance with projects and companies like Anikaya Dance Theatre, Bring us Your Women, The Broken Consort, The Pillow Men, Danza Organica and more, I am a vessel of expression for the task before me.

 

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