Founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Philein Wang, ZiRu Dance is a non-profit dance company and is based in the Peninsula/Silicon Valley Bay Area. ZiRu Dance distinguishes itself as an organization which focuses on cross-cultural dance bringing arts to the Peninsula/Silicon Valley Bay Area communities, as well as becoming the home of the Silicon Valley Dance Festival(™). With diverse company members that are 98% individuals of color (Black, Asian American and Latino), ZiRu serves a continued mission to support BIPOC performing arts companies, world-class teaching artists, and minority non-profit communities. Our grants and operating income aim to help bolster organizations and provide support in the community through the art of dance for: mental wellness as a result of COVID-19 and for those suffering from Systemic Racism and Asian American Xenophobia as well.
The company uses dance as an entry point for cross-cultural understanding, bridging the gap between East and West on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. ZiRu Dance’s centerpiece is Artistic Director Philein Wang’s dance style, which is a highly stylized fusion of modern dance, ballet, hip hop, and Wushu that highlights the diverse cultural influences of the company, thereby actively forefronting questions of cultural and racial identity. ZiRu serves to provide a cultural home through the performing arts, focusing on the greater China region and the United States.
Collaboration, creation, and mentorship are integral aspects for each original production. Over the years, ZiRu has had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers located in the US and abroad, such as Yuri Zhukov (formerly of Kirov Ballet & San Francisco Ballet), Charles O. Anderson, Kara Davis (project agora), Scott Putman, and Liu Yi Feng (LDTX). The company also regularly provides opportunities for the company dancers to create on their peers.
Guided by Philein’s artistic vision, ZiRu Dance has achieved impressive accomplishments in the company’s many local and international ventures. In addition to creating original works, ZiRu Dance acts as a cultural liaison for collaboration, education, and exchange between the United States and China. In 2014, ZiRu Dance received prestigious support from the US State Department and the US Embassy in Beijing to create a series of cultural, artistic, and educational exchanges between American dance artists and communities throughout China. Since its inception, ZiRu Dance has produced 28 tours in 16 cities in China, created 25 new works, commissioned 18 works, facilitated 8 individual dancer exchanges, and sponsored over 50 dance education and outreach events in both the US and China.
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 performances at the Guangzhou Modern Dance Festival, the Beijing Modern Dance Festival, the Daqing Opera House, ODC Theater, the Dalian Opera House, Beijing Normal University, the Penghao Theater, the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts, and the Menlo-Atherton Center for the Performing Arts. Furthermore, 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.
ZIRU’S PRIMARY PROJECTS:
The company’s primary projects include 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. ZiRu aims to make contemporary dance an accessible and enriching experience for the Peninsula and Silicon Valley communities.
In May 2020, ZiRu Dance, launched Project Dance-OFF (Dance Online- Free-For All) in direct response to current events. Project Dance-OFF works with over 20 community partners to bring free dance classes for those affected by: mental wellness related to COVID-19 and those suffering from Systemic Racism and Asian-American xenophobia.
ABOUT OUR SUPPORTERS:
The company has received generous support over the years from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Packard Foundation, the San Mateo Arts Commission, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the City of Menlo Park. In addition, the company has received corporate sponsorship from TEL, Teleplace, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Keller Williams/Sybarite Investments, Feng Lin, Dentsply, Peak Capital, VMware, Bandai Foundation, and Jinrui Technologies and many generous donors.
ABOUT THE ZIRU ORGANIZATION
The ZiRu organization was originally founded in 2007 under the name Philein/ZiRu Productions. In 2013, the organization expanded into two distinct companies: ZiRu Productions and ZiRu Dance, both of which are based in the San Francisco/Peninsula Bay Area as well as Beijing, China. ZiRu Productions serves as the parent company, creating large-scale theatrical stage productions, while the organization’s non-profit branch, ZiRu Dance, promotes cross-cultural collaborations and the creation of innovative dance work.