Founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Philein Wang, ZiRu Dance is a non-profit dance company fiscally sponsored by Dancers’ Group and based in the San Francisco Bay Area. ZiRu Dance has distinguished itself through its focus on multi-disciplinary work, collaboration across cultural boundaries, and actively addressing the questions of cultural identity.
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. ZiRu serves a mission 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 ambitious 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. ZiRu Dance has 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 25 tours in 16 cities in China, created 16 new works, commissioned 13 works, facilitated 7 individual dancer exchanges, and sponsored over 15 dance education and outreach events in both the US and China.
The company’s newest endeavor is the development of the Silicon Valley Dance Festival™. In 2016, ZiRu Dance hosted the inaugural event, which brought together companies and artists from the Bay Area and beyond for a weekend of dynamic performances. With future plans to expand the annual festival’s offerings to include more 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 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.
The company has received generous support over the years from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Packard Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the City of Menlo Park. In addition, the company has received corporate sponsorship from TEL, Teleplace, Google, Keller Williams/Sybarite Investments, Feng Lin, Dentsply, Peak Capital, VMware, Bandai Foundation, and Jinrui Technologies.
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, is fiscally sponsored by Dancers’ Group and promotes cross-cultural collaborations and the creation of innovative dance work.