‘VANTAGE’, a Cross-Cultural Celebration Through Dance, Diversity, and Dialog, Debuts April 7-10 at the ODC Theater in San Francisco, California

VANTAGE, a highly anticipated, high-energy, cross-cultural celebration through dance, diversity, and positive dialog, debuts at the OCD Theater in San Francisco, California, April 7-10. Presented by ZiRu Dance — a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) non-profit dance company founded by Philein Wang — VANTAGE was created as a catalyst for social justice, inclusion, and community. 

An acclaimed dancer-choreographer, Wang, Artistic Director at ZiRu Dance, describes VANTAGE as sitting at the intersection of movement, technology, cultural identity, and most importantly — social justice. “VANTAGE is a vibrant collaborative effort from four distinct cultural vantage points, including Asian American, African American, Mixed Race, and LatinX,” she points out.  

Nearly a year in the making, VANTAGE features the soaring artistry of four top choreographers, each one depicting their cultural heritage, including Wang, representing Chinese/Taiwanese Americans, Christian Burns, European Caucasian/mixed race (HAPA), Winifred Harris, African Americans, and Alejandro Perez, LatinX. “They’re not only gifted artists, but they believe deeply in our overarching vision for VANTAGE, having either experienced racial injustice, or known somebody who has,” she added. “I love that they’re optimistic about their lives, their communities, and the future!”

VANTAGE was conceived during the pandemic when Wang, who was born in Michigan to Taiwanese and Chinese parents, became alarmed by the dramatic upswing in Xenophic slurs, assaults, and hate crimes on individuals of Asian descent. “Most Asian Americans are encouraged to remain silent about such incidents, myself included. But as hatred and violent behavior spread during the pandemic, I became frightened for my children’s future,” explains Wang, a former dancer at the renowned Cloudgate Dance Theater of Taiwan.

She says a pivotal moment occurred when a neighbor visiting Napa with his family was “flipped off” by a white couple for no reason. “I was shocked, especially given the area,” she said. “Here we were locked down, no way to travel to another country, and social injustices were occurring all over.  I needed to do something, so I reached out to my network encouraging people to share their stories and report any issues to authorities. And that was the start of VANTAGE.”

Wang, whose innovative artform combines modern dance, ballet, Chinese martial arts (wushu) and Tai Chi, says VANTAGE is a joyful labor of love. “It’s only when we share our stories, and advocate for change peacefully, can we end the cycle of silence and injustice,” concluded Wang, who studied at the famous Beijing Ballet Academy and has performed/choreographed worldwide.

She added that each dance performance will be followed by a moderated panel discussion with all four cultures represented by their respective choreographers, along with several special guests. “There will also be a Q&A session for the audience and information about advocacy groups in hopes of building a significant grassroots coalition through the arts.” 

For tickets and more information, go to www.zirudance.com or call Philein at 415-857-5089.

Source: ZiRu Dance