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A project addressing xenophobia, race, and promoting advocacy through dance.

“The dancing was incredible throughout with a quality of movement that

was both intricate and powerful”.

Emma Rubinowitz ODC Review of VANTAGE


“The exquisite mix of extremely high level of craft, expressing the tenderest

and fiercest of emotions was breathtaking.”

Kaila Flexer, violinist/composer 


“Show brought me to tears….a wonderful journey for the soul and mind”

audience viewer

VANTAGE sits at the intersection of movement, cultural identity, and most importantly: social justice. Through the work of 4 choreographers, with distinct cultural identities - AAPI, African American, LatinX, and Mixed Race - VANTAGE explores four distinct cultural experiences of social injustice and racism.


The first half of the program included 4 independent perspectives:

  • Asian American Pacific Islander, choreographed by Philein Wang, ZiRu Dance Artistic Director

  • African American, choreographed by Winifred R Harris, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble Associate Artistic Director

  • LatinX, choreographed by Alejandro Perez, choreographer and dancer

  • Mixed Race, choreographed by Christian Burns, Guest Lecturer at Stanford University


The second half of the program features a longer 30-minute work, titled VANTAGE, choreographed by Philein Wang in collaboration with Karah Abiog and Christian Burns, which interweaves select movements and motifs from each of the first half's cultural perspectives. 


Following each performance, there is a post-performance panel that promotes solidarity and advocacy through the arts. VANTAGE incorporates an extensive outreach program, focusing on building a coalition of local partners - schools, community centers, social service providers, chambers, heritage clubs, cultural centers, tutoring / enrichment programs - that prioritize our BIPOC community’s needs. Panel discussions featuring a showcase of the work (through live performance or film excerpts of the work), with a curated roster of social justice advocates, educators, and project artists will be key to the project. Invited guests from the partnering organization(s) and recommendations from their network, as well as a rotating selection of ZiRu’s coalition and artistic team, will comprise each panel, ensuring that the panel represents a cross-section of the organization’s demographics as well as the general public living in the area. Discussions will be moderated and encourage candid conversation on how to thrive in a multi-racial community.


About the work:

Choreographed by: Philein Wang with contributions from the dancers

Collaborators: Karah Abiog and Christian Burns

Choreographer’s Note: The sign language phrase “I dislike” is seen throughout the piece. To sign “dislike,” move your hand away from your chest while bringing all your fingers to your thumb. As your hand continues to move away from your chest, twist your wrist down, keep your fingers in place and then open your fingers as though dropping and letting go of something.

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