About ZiRu Dance

ZiRu Dance is a BIPOC non-profit dance company, based in Redwood City, that emphasizes the creation of new work, diversity, cross-cultural dialogue, curated festival production, and community engagement.  Through our intentional actions, focused art making, and our inclusive company, we aim to make a broader impact through performance, touring and outreach.  We lead by example through dance.

 

Philein Wang is the Artistic Director and Founder of ZiRu Dance. Wang’s exploration of her Chinese-American heritage pushed her to create a new dance form for the Asian American body. Her goal is to build cross-cultural bridges and to unite generations of immigrants through a unique blend of dance from Asia, Europe, and Africa.

 

She received choreography mentorships from the late Bella Lewitzky, Margaret Jenkins and Lin Hwai-Min, Artistic Director of Taiwan’s world-renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. In 2012, the company was expressly invited to perform by the Party Secretary of Jilin, China. That same year, ZiRu Dance was honored by dance critic Jim Tobin as the “Best Cross-Cultural Dance Company" at the Live Blessay Awards. In 2016, she was recognized as an honoree at the first ever Asian and Pacific Islander Heroes of San Mateo County reception and was selected to be part of a team of AAPI Leaders which received a proclamation from the Mayor and City of San Carlos declaring May to be Asian Heritage Month for San Carlos.

 

Guided by Wang’s vision, ZiRu Dance has achieved both local and international success since its inception in 2007. In 2014 and then again in 2020, ZiRu Dance received key support from the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Beijing for exchanges between American dance artists and Chinese communities. Since then, ZiRu Dance has produced 28 tours across 16 cities, including creating 27 new works, commissioning 20 works and sponsoring over 80 education and outreach events.

 

Each original ZiRu Dance production requires collaboration, creativity, and mentorship. Over the years, ZiRu has enjoyed the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers located in the U.S. and abroad, including:

  • Charles O. Anderson

  • ADIYA of LDTX/BeijingDance

  • Robert Moses

  • Scott Putman

  • Yuri Zhukov (formerly of Kirov Ballet & San Francisco Ballet)

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In recognition of ZiRu Dance’s unique contribution to the dance community, the company has been fortunate to perform extensively throughout California and China. Highlights include:

  • Beijing Modern Dance Festival

  • Beijing Normal University

  • Dalian Opera House

  • Daqing Opera House

  • Guangzhou Modern Dance Festival

  • Menlo-Atherton Center for the Performing Arts

  • Mountain View Center for Performing Arts

  • ODC Theater

  • Penghao Theater

Primary Projects:

ZiRu Dance aims to make contemporary dance an accessible and enriching experience for the San Francisco/Peninsula Bay communities. The company’s primary project is the development of the Silicon Valley Dance Festival™.

 

In 2016, ZiRu Dance hosted the inaugural event, which brought together Bay Area artists and national dance companies for a weekend of dynamic performances.  The annual festival’s offerings will expand to include workshops and community events in addition to performances.

In May 2020, ZiRu Dance launched Project Dance-O.F.F. (Dance Online Free-For-All) in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Asian-American xenophobia that came along with it. Project Dance-OFF works with over 20 community partners to bring free dance classes to those mentally affected by the impacts of COVID-19 and to those suffering from Systemic Racism and Asian-American xenophobia.