2024-25 AAPI Dance Artists Residencies

Year: 2024-2025
DanceForce Member: Paz Tanjuaquio
Artists: Jennifer Chin, Barkha Patel, Sugar Vendil, Annie Ming-Hao Wang
Community Partner: Topaz Arts
Audience: 600
County: Queens

TOPAZ ARTS 2024-25 AAPI Dance Residencies celebrates dance artists of Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage. TOPAZ ARTS gives choreographers the opportunity and freedom to create in a focused and inspired atmosphere. Being situated in the most diverse county in the nation – Queens – we continue to cultivate new audiences for dance from within our community, largely of immigrant population. AAPI Dance Artists Residencies engages both artists and the community, raising awareness and empowering voices through the stories, bodies and experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

TOPAZ ARTS will support AAPI Dance Artists with time and space to focus and develop the creation of new works. Each choreographer will receive fully subsidized rehearsal space and artist stipend. Topaz Arts supports the creative process, fosters cultural exchange, allowing for experimentation, visibility, and access to diverse audiences. In FY2025, the following artists – Jennifer Chin, Barkha Patel, Sugar Vendil, Annie Ming-Hao Wang – will participate in a creative residency at TOPAZ ARTS. The residency gives artists creative time with opportunities available according to the needs of each artist:, such as open rehearsals and feedback sessions.

Barkha Patel is a kathak dancer, choreographer, educator, and the Artistic Director of Barkha Dance Company based in New York City. Barkha has performed solo and ensemble works at dance festivals in India and the U.S. Her work has had the opportunity to present at venues such as Dance Theatre Harlem, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Joyce Theatre and Little Island Dance Festival, 92Y, and Chelsea Factory among others. Barkha has been artist in residence with Movement Research in NYC, was a Jerome Hill Artist Finalist 2023 (Jerome Foundation), and awarded the 2023 Juried Bessie Award. TOPAZ ARTS’ provision of creative time to Barkha  is aligned with the NYS DanceForce’s commitment to provide opportunities and resources to each year’s Juried Bessie Award Artist.

Jennifer Chin is a dance artist who has performed and taught throughout the US and abroad with many inspiring choreographers, including Alan Danielson, Kristin Jackson, Arthur Aviles, Michael Mao and Yin Mei. Her work has been performed in Mexico, Guatemala, Croatia; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Florence Dance Festival, International Contemporary Dance Festival, Nicaragua; and Breaking Ground Festival in Tempe, Arizona. Locally in NYC, her choreography has been performed at Bare Bones Showcase-American Dance Guild, BAAD! Ass Women-Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Dancenow/NYC, Danspace Project’s Food-for-Thought, The Future is Female Festival. She has been commissioned to create work by Queens College, Peridance Center, and The Yard where she was a dancer-in-residence for four years. She also choreographs for theater and has worked in opera on Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, a Theatre Piece for Players, Singers and Dancers with a cast of over 100 performers. She received her MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and BA from Queens College.

Sugar Vendil (she/they) is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist who is forging new creative pathways as a second generation Filipinx American and future ancestor. Vendil’s work germinates from a kinesthetic and improvisatory approach rooted in lived experiences. Her sense of physicality and artistic autonomy is evident in her work, whether it is music, performance, or visual scores. Vendil was awarded a 2022 NPN Creation Fund grant and 2021 MAP Fund grant to support Antonym: the opposite of nostalgia, which is being co-commissioned by Living Arts Tulsa, High Concept Labs, and National Sawdust. Antonym is a finalist for NEFA’s NTP Creation and Touring Fund.

Annie Ming-Hao Wang is a freelancer with training in classical ballet, Graham technique, and Chinese martial arts. In her work, she is searching for a multi-dimensional physicality that is informed by crisscrossing interests in textiles, watercolor painting, storytelling, spatial mathematics, and the immigrant experience. Annie has been presented by Five Myles, Pioneers Go East, Leimay OUTSIGHT, Brooklyn’s Center for Performance Research, the 92Y, the Exponential Festival, and BRIC. She has been awarded residencies at Leimay, BRIC, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Marble House Project and has been a Brooklyn Arts Council grantee. Annie is a company member of Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group and also dances with Same As Sister, Maho Ogawa, and Sugar Vendil.