2021 SVDF New Works
"Sight-Specific" sits at the intersection of movement, technology, cultural identity, nature and most importantly: social justice. The experimental work “Sight-Specific” will incorporate virtual reality, dance-for-the-camera, and site-specific choreography. Through an emphasis on the position from where we view, we highlight how we have different cultural responses towards our experiences depending on from where we gaze. This study of gaze, specifically how we engage with live art in a post-COVID world, reveals the impact of what we see when we look at each other in a multi-racial/multicultural nation.
“Sight-Specific” has four lead artists from Asian American, African American, Latinx and European Caucasian communities with input from a racially diverse company of ZiRu dancers.
Wang brings an exploration of her Chinese American heritage to the forefront of the project as the director. The past year has provided a much needed platform for marginalized voices that had remained buried for decades. Asian Americans represent up to 20% in specific neighborhoods and 35% in San Francisco where Sight-Specific will premiere. Yet, tragically, decades of stories about prejudice, racism, and assault against AAPI have been repressed, not only by the ruling majority, but also by AAPI themselves. This piece presents the “Model Minority”(s) voice to build community, raise critical consciousness and galvanize a collective call to action for Asian Americans to promote social change by sharing their stories.
Sight-Specific will be delivered in two formats: virtual reality / film and live as a site-specific piece in nature. Viewers can rewatch the work from different angles, seeing new movement patterns and relationships each time. The viewer’s gaze informs the meaning of the work as much as the intersecting gazes of the performers.
The live site-specific piece will expand to four distinct locations in nature and/or community locations. Here, the viewer is thrust into the scene itself, navigating terrain and weather conditions to complicate the gaze. The project explores moments of unity and striking difference against a shared backdrop with the audience’s own participation as active viewers.
The VR piece will be presented at the 2021 Virtual Silicon Valley Dance Festival “Renewal” in December, 2021. “Renewal” is supported by the U.S. State Department and others to bring healing and recovery to local communities which suffered isolation, systemic racism and xenophobia as a result of Covid-19.
The live site-specific piece will premiere in various locations in spring and summer of 2022 in San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Communities. Excerpts will be performed for the San Mateo College, La Canada College, Skyline College in their PAC’s with a panel discussion with humanities professors and ZiRu to engage the student body.