Connie Shiau was born in Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A., and raised in Tainan, Taiwan. She moved to the U.S. to further her dance education and pursue a professional dance career at the age of 18. Shiau has worked as a collaborator with an array of choreographers including Kyle Abraham, Helen Simoneau, Rena Butler, Sameena Mitta, Adam Barruch, and Kevin Wynn. She is currently a dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Shiau is a choreographer drawn to the power that movement can bring. To her, it bridges experiences and perspectives, and serves as a connection with her people and her world. Shiau's work sparks curiosity, conversation, questions, and stories. In this solo project, she explores the fluidity, freedom, struggle, and societal expectations of a female in this current political climate.

I think a lot about connection - human connection, spiritual connection, connection to the natural world, connection to images. Connection occurs when there is a spark between two things. It can be inspiring as much as it can be challenging - a bridge between experiences and perspectives. In my life, the bridge between me and my world, my people, is movement. As a choreographer and movement artist, I draw inspiration from my surroundings. There is endless motion, vibration, and impact in a tree that sways in the wind; the walls and fences we build; a wilting rose; the words we speak; our actions. When I choreograph, I trace these motions, these paths, through my personal lense. My work is inspired by a desire to spark curiosity, conversation, questions and stories..

—Connie Shiau, Artist Statement

Photos: Courtesy of the Artist  

Video: Wills Glasspiegel and Brandon Calhoun


Connie’s project during the Greenhouse program explores the voices and roles that women play in our current political climate, and the ways that affects her as an Asian woman who spent her childhood in Taiwan and adulthood in the United States. She is playing with this topic from three different angles. First, playing with the fluidity of femininity and masculinity. Second, playing with the idea of fitting oneself into stereotypical expectations of feminine qualities. And third, playing with the power dynamic of women and men in this society. 

Mentor: Rena Butler
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