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92NY Harkness Dance Center Presents Peter Chu: Two World Premieres

May 14, 2023

The 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center’s 2022/23 Mainstage Series continues with Conscious Shift and take-off, two world premieres by performing artist, educator and choreographer Peter Chu. Both pieces are choreographed by Chu, who performs with Roger Van der Poel, a member of his company, Chuthis. The performances are live on the stage of 92NY’s Kaufmann Concert Hall on Sunday, May 14 at 7:30 pm ET and available online for 72 hours from noon ET on Monday, May 15. Tickets start at $20 / $10 student, are available at https://www.92ny.org/event/peter-chu.

Peter Chu: Artistic Statement
I have spent the past couple of years developing work that explored the intersection of my jazz dance roots and taiji & qigong training. I wanted to approach a Conscious Shift knowing there would be trailings and minor elements from an entire evening called Rhythmic Identity. Rhythmic Identity celebrates the similarities between qigong, taiji and jazz dance while connecting individuals to a familiar groove: a beat that heals, bonds, and allows space to grow individually.

Before building Conscious Shift, my fascination with the beauty and integrity of many traditional Chinese paintings increased. Having a few of these paintings, especially the ones with cranes, gives me solace and consolation. My practice with the crane animal qigong also guided my discoveries during the process, as it helped the work discover balance, lightness, and agility during the creative journey. A crane is peaceful and graceful and guides us to control our breath while allowing despair and sorrow in the body to move out of the system.

I am curious about the circularity of vitality, energy, and substance and how they co-exist. These three treasures assisted Roger and me in discovering how moving bodies from two distinct cultures communicate through breath, sensation, and touch. Conscious Shift moves with an open heart and soars through the clouds.

take-off plays with recurring events like departing and arriving. Experiencing life in a constant state of travelling presents challenges but also offers magnificence. Two chairs allow one to reflect, breathe, and be. It’s an opportunity to contemplate and appreciate what is in front of you. Just like human life, movement is fleeting and in a state of flow.

Many transformations are happening worldwide, but I remain thankful for the lessons I have learned as things shift. Change is necessary, and impermanence remains trustworthy. At this juncture in my career, I am examining new movement material that continues to honour my movement lineage and culture but allows these concepts to continue developing further. Growing movement concepts, imagery, and sequences are constantly in flux, which fuels me daily. Is there a point at which two moving bodies find stillness, or perhaps they never arrive? There’s magic in the desire to surrender to the unknown.

The Mainstage Series continues
In Person – Fri, Jun 9, 7:30 pm, from $20 / $10 student
Online – noon Sat, Jun 10 – noon Tue, Jun 13, from $20
Maleek Washington, a 2021 New York Live Arts Fresh Track grantee, who was also nominated for a Bessie as an “Outstanding Breakout Choreographer” in the same year will be closing out our Mainstage Season by bringing his compelling creative voice to the 92nd Street Y, New York stage for the first time.

Visit 92NY.org/Dance for details on all 2022/23 Harkness Mainstage Series events in Kaufmann Concert Hall, and spring 2023 Harkness Studio Series events in our newly renovated Buttenwieser Hall.


May 14, 2023


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