“Full of wild, pure WILD joy.” – Katerine
Photo by Erica Baptiste from The Pillow Men debut at Oberon
A NOTE FROM CHIENHWE
After classical ballet training, tai-chi, shaolin kung-fu and yoga disciplines, I began to improvise when Philip Hamilton of Philip Hamilton/VOICES invited me to perform in a concert. It was a new found love. Since then, I thrive in settings where I simply trust, surrender and let the magic of the life force flow through me. Even better when there’s a story. In defense of improvisation, I absolutely love the magic that can happen when the right context embraces the open, trained body.
It’s weird for me to talk about my relationship with dance; it’s almost like trying to describe what it feels like to be a girl — it’s just something that I am. Ever since I was a young girl, ballet classes gave me the greatest escape from the cold, harsh world back into myself, my body, my vessel. Dancing makes me feel safe. To this day, when I take a step back and look out the role dance has played in my life, I revel, marvel and remain in awe of the power it has over me, in me, through me. All I can say at this point is that I am deeply grateful for the gift of dance, to each and everyone of you who has helped to shape me, to all of you who see the dancer in me, who, thankfully, embodies the highest version of me. I’ll keep dancing to the grave and beyond.