AAPI Artists Residency

Year: 2022-2023
DanceForce Member: Paz Tanjuaquio
Artists: Zhang Huiwang; Jaclyn Reyes
Audience: 500
County: Queens

AAPI Dance Artists Residencies: TOPAZ ARTS will support Asian American Pacific Islander Dance Artists with time and space to focus and develop the creation of new dance 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 & access to diverse audiences. In FY2022-23, the following choreographers have been invited to participate in residency activities at TOPAZ ARTS, with showings, open rehearsals, workshops, according to the needs of each artist:

Huiwang Zhang/Wan Dance Theater:
Huiwang Zhang, a company member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company since 2017, has danced with the China Opera & Dance Drama Theater and Paper Tiger Theater Studio in Beijing. He completed his Master study in Dance and Choreography in the U.S. and Germany under the mentorships of Stephen Koester, Sharee Lane, Ellen Bromberg and Katharina Christl. He edits the e-journal upsidedown in China, where he advocates for dance as a serious art form and critical research practice. His choreography, often through a sociocultural lens, gives voices to communities at risk of social exclusion and people whose stories are lost in the official narratives, carefully structuring an alternative history from individual personal and private stories.

Jaclyn Reyes is a performing and teaching artist, designer, and cultural organizer based in New York City. She earned her BFA in art photography from Syracuse University and her master’s degree in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She co-creates community-based art and creative place-keeping interventions with Little Manila Queens Bayanihan Arts in Woodside, Queens. Reyes recently produced “We Are They” – a documentary and dance film that draws on both cultural heritage and the lived experiences of Filipino health care workers, the performances showcase embodied storytelling, utilizing the body and voice to tell a “story” resonant not only to Filipinos but other communities who face similar challenges of reclaiming their histories.

Nikaio Bulan Sahar Thomashow is a Filipinx-American dancer, composer, and teacher originally from Saranac Lake, New York. Currently a company member with EMERGE125, they began their training at the Lake Placid School of Dance and continued on to study at the French Academie of Ballet in NYC. They graduated from Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences in 2018 with a degree in dance, where they explored the bounds of how bodies are affected by a person’s history and how this can influence the quality and production of movement.

Topaz Arts gives artists 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. The engagement within AAPI Dance Artists Residencies benefits both artists and the community, raising awareness of stories, bodies and experiences of Asian American Pacific Islanders.