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Bridge Dance Festival
The Bridge Dance Festival began in 2018 as the culmination of four years of Japanese-focused programming at Links Hall, including the National Performance Network Asian Exchange, Beyond the Box, and Links to Japan.
In 2019, producers Links Hall and Asian Improv aRts Midwest partnered with curator Yoshinojo Fujima (aka Rika Lin) to maintain the mission of international cultural exchange and connection in the face of rising US nationalism and its aggressive political reality. The importance of global connections is inspired and supported by mutual respect for both cultural similarities and differences.
Now in its fifth year, Bridge Dance continues to establish its role facilitating AAPI Dancers from Chicago, Japan, and Taiwan will present their own new experimental pieces, exploring the expression of ‘self’.
Tickets for this event are available on a sliding scale from $16-$42.
Chih-Jou Cheng is a Taiwanese movement artist and puppeteer. Cheng is honored to be a part of the Bridge Dance Festival to explore her identity as Taiwanese! Her recent credits include The Dream King (Teatro Vista), The King and I (Drury Lane), Newsies as co-choreographer (Music House), A Chorus Line as Connie Wong (Metropolis PAC), and Miranda as Tiger/Stella (Impostors Theatre). Cheng is also the co-artistic director of Dawn Theatre Project, she has created and performed Above the Water, and her other works include Arriving at Dawn and Hold Your Hand.
Robyn Mineko Williams is a director, interdisciplinary artist, dancer and producer. She works and creates within the lanes and intersections of performance, design, culture, and place. She is the founder and director of Robyn Mineko Williams and Artists (RMW&A) and has received commissions from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Malpaso Dance Company among others. Robyn has been in residence at Baryshnikov Arts Center and is a 2023 Artist-in Residence at the Chicago Cultural Center. Named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2014, she is a 2023 Dysart Award winner and Princess Grace Foundation-USA Fellowship grant recipient. In tandem with her creations for the stage, Robyn works as a creative director and movement consultant on an array of projects including immersive experiences, film, installation, pop-up performances and music videos.
Momoko Ishikuro / 石黒桃子 is a contemporary dancer based in Tokyo, Japan. In 2004, she started rhythmic gymnastics. She won awards in many competitions, but she was more attracted to the field of expression. In 2013, she entered University of Tsukuba to study dance academically. While studying various dances, she was particularly interested in contemporary dance, and she studied under Motoko Hirayama. Since 2014, she has been a member of the [Somatic Field Project] organized by Hiroaki Umeda, and she has performed in many works.
In 2018 she became an independent dancer, and has been keeping busy dancing on stage, creating artworks, appearing in media such as commercials, music videos and photographic works. She specializes in improvisational dance, which is in demand. In her daily practice, she researches with a microperspective on the body to fulfill her yearning for a fluid and transformable body. Presently she creates artworks and organizes stage performances in Japan and established the Leonom Dance Company in February 2023.