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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Topaz Arts presents FX Indépendance: Filipinx Dance Artists

Photos (clockwise from right): Nikaio Bulan Sahar, by Lisa Keegan Photography; Leonard Cruz, by Nina Alexis Padilla; Paz Tanjuaquio, by Fisher Landau Center for Art; Marie Lloyd Paspe, by Edward Pages.

FX Indépendance: Filipinx Dance Artists

Performance and Artist Talk

Sunday, June 11th, 4-6pm

Free: RSVP on Eventbrite
at TOPAZ ARTS, 55-03 39th Ave, Woodside, Queens > directions

New York - TOPAZ ARTS presents FX Indépendance: Filipinx Dance Artists – Performance and Artist Talk on Sunday, June 11th, 4-6pm. On the eve of Philippine Independence Day, the program will feature Filipinx-American Dance Artists with current AAPI Resident Artist Nikaio Bulan Sahar, along with previous resident artists Leonard Cruz, Marie Lloyd Paspe, and Co-Founding Director Paz Tanjuaquio.

Culminating Nikaio‘s Spring residency, KAōS Dance Collective will show new work created during their time at TOPAZ, along with each guest artist sharing short works – returning from Germany, Leonard will share solo work; Marie, a current company member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, shares excerpts from Bumalik, and new solo work by Paz. Followed by a post-performance artist talk, join them for this informal gathering, as Filipinx performer/choreographers share and discuss how they’re all navigating in their movement practices, locally and internationally.

About the Artists:

Dr. Leonard Cruz (PhD in Urban Education with a focus on the Performing and Creative Arts) was born in Pampanga, the Philippines, raised in San Antonio, Texas (USA), and has lived in Germany the past 25 years. Cruz has performed for internationally renowned choreographers including: Robert Wilson, Kei Takei’s Moving Earth, Shapiro and Smith Dance, Sally Silvers, and five years with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Co. In Germany, he was a guest with Pina Bausch in Wuppertal and a member of the Folkwang Tanz Studio in Essen Werden. From 1994-2001 he was a soloist at the Bremer Stadttheater under the Directorship of Susanne Linke and Urs Dietrich. Leonard specializes in Civic and Community Engagement through the creative and expressive arts and believes in life long performing and learning.

Marie Lloyd Paspe (she/her) is a Filipina-American dance and vocal performer, choreographer, director, educator, bruha culture bearer, and writer based in lenapehoking/Brooklyn, NY. Marie is a performer with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company since 2018. Recent awards include a Bessie for Outstanding Choreography for contributions to the BTJ/AZ production of “Deep Blue Sea,” the 2022 Asian American Arts Alliance Jadin Wong Fellow, and a 2023 Gallim Moving Artist Resident. She excavates diasporic identity work within bakla (Tagalog for “queer”) spaces of memory, fascia and time, igniting kapwa (“shared one-ness”) in collaborative processes and productions. Marie’s choreography and performance has been presented internationally in Germany, Israel, the Philippines, and China; and nationally in NYC, North Adams, MA, LA, Philadelphia, Jersey City, and Minneapolis, among others. Recent features include film performance in Taikang Space (Beijing, China), artist-in-residence at TOPAZ Arts (Queens, NYC), choreographic director of treya lam’s residency at MASS MoCA and Joe’s Pub, and Creatives Rebuild New York grant recipient as artist and culture bearer.

Nikaio Bulan Sahar (they/them/theirs) is a mixed Jewish and Filipinx-American choreographer and composer based in New York City, currently teaches ballet at the Boys and Girls Club as part of the Misty Copeland Foundation. Originally from Saranac Lake, New York, they began their training at the Lake Placid School of Dance and continued on to study at the French Academie of Ballet in NYC and is currently a company member with EMERGE125. They attended summer programs hosted by Teatro Alla Scala, Ecole Superiere du Montreal du Quebec, American Ballet Theatre, and many others. Nikaio also has a background in various street dance, such as break dancing and dancehall. They graduated from Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences in 2018 with a degree in dance and concentration in ‘performance of identity.’  There, they explored the bounds of how bodies are affected by a person’s history and how this can influence the quality and production of movement.

Paz Tanjuaquio (she/her) has been active in NYC since 1990 as a choreographer, performer, educator and artist. Her work has been presented in NYC at LaMaMa Moves Dance Festival, 92Y Harkness Dance Center, Fisher Landau Center for Art, Danspace Project, Thelma Hill Performing Arts, Yangtze Repertory, among others; nationally, at Operation Unite in Hudson NY, San Diego Trolley Dance, ADF Int’l Screen Dance, Philadelphia Fringe Festival; and internationally at Le Commun, Bâtiment d’Art Contemporain in Geneva, Switzerland, and residencies in Cambodia, Japan, Korea and her birthplace, the Philippines. As a dancer, she has performed for Molissa Fenley, Marlies Yearby, and with Nicky Paraiso, Dean Moss, Carl Hancock Rux, among others. She teaches movement at The New School and at NYU Tisch School of the Arts/Experimental Theater Wing. She currently serves as Chair of the Steering Committee for The Bessies, and is a member of the NYS DanceForce. Paz is Co-Founding Director of TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. founded in 2000 with Todd B. Richmond – an artist-run space for contemporary performance and visual arts.

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