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程之柔 (Chih-Jou Cheng)

Movement artist, puppeteer, project leader, choreographer, educator 

Education

Columbia College Chicago, MA Devised Performing Practice

 

National University of Tainan (Taiwan), Drama Creation and Application

Otterbein University, BA Theatre

A Bit About 程之柔(Chih-Jou Cheng)

"Living a life for service 
Live by faith but not by sight 
Lift each other up." 
-- Alvin Ailey 

 

For Chih-Jou (之柔), creating meaningful art is more than just a career but a way of living, a way to love harder and think deeper. She dedicated herself to creating artworks that illuminate the challenges and joys of the human experience through collaborative physical theatre and puppetry. She is interested in telling stories that open up doors for dialogue. To ask the question: what does it mean to be human?

Chih-Jou (之柔) is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Taiwan.  She started taking dance classes at 19 years old through a college dance group where she found her passion for movement and dance. Then she came to the United States in 2016. In 2018, she moved to Chicago to get more serious training in dance while performing professionally. Later, she decided to focus on studying movement and create devised physical theatre.

As a performer, some of her credits include A Chorus Line as Connie Wong (Metropolis PAC), The King and I (Drury Lane Theatre), The Dream King (Teatro Vista), and Winter Wonder Town as an improv performer (Navy Pier).  As a teacher and choreographer, she has choreographed Newsies for Music House and several other single pieces including Devote, Relief, Endless Love, and Carry On. Additionally, one of her choreography pieces, Night Sky, for Bartelt Dancers youth company in Ohio, received two 1st places, Best Judge choice of Choreography, and 5 other Awards in the 2018 competition season. Lastly, She was awarded the Scholarship Program of Excellent Teacher Education (in Taiwan) from 2014-2016. As for her work, Chih-Jou is interested in creating devised theatre works that tell collaborative stories of our community. She often incorporates movement and puppetry to tell those stories that are hidden in the corner of the universe. She has created several originally devised theatre works including Arriving at Dawn, Above the Water, and Hold Your Hand

 

Chih-Jou wants to use her artwork as a platform to talk about those unspeakable topics, and challenging perspectives, and share those hidden stories of ours:

"I invite us to join the discussion of how we can empower and enlighten the community around us. I encourage us to share our stories, our struggles, and our victories with the community around us. At the end of the day, we are all visitors to this world. We all carry different stories, wandering around in this world and trying to find our belongings. So live your life with love and compassion, as 'love is the quintessence of life.' (by Dr. Antony Theodore) So stand up, speak up, and act out our love for our friends, our neighbors, and those who suffer.

 

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