• Erika Chong Shuch and SanSan Kwan

The Welcoming [IV]: New Ways of Making under a Pandemic

Proof of Vaccination Required

Ticket holders are required to provide proof of vaccination—to the maximum extent for which they are eligible—for entry into the Barbro Osher Theater.

In this conversation with Erika Chong Shuch and SanSan Kwan about new, pandemic-inspired forms of making that center care, listening and hospitality, Shuch presents the ongoing creative mutual aid project Artists & Elders. During the course of the pandemic, her performance group For You (Shuch, Rowena Richie, and Ryan Tacata) brought individual artists and elders together for creative exchange to ease isolation and establish new friendships. The Welcoming is a series of shared, public rituals that build off these relationships. This event also includes a performative “Warm Welcome,” led by special guests who participated in For You’s project The Great AAPI Elder Print Off.

Erika Chong Shuch is a choreographer, director, and performance maker interested in expanding the way performance is created and shared. Shuch’s work spans devised experimental performance and social practice, and it produces unexpected forms of audience engagement. Shuch’s original works have been presented and commissioned in the Bay Area and beyond since 2000. She cofounded For You, a performance group that brings strangers together for intimate encounters and considers performance making as gift giving. As a response to COVID-19, For You launched Artists & Elders, a creative mutual aid project that brings artists and elders together. Shuch’s work has been supported by Creative Capital, New England Foundation for the Arts, and others. She works as a choreographer for regional theaters across the country.

SanSan Kwan’s research interests include dance studies, Asian American studies, theories of space and kinesthesia, and interculturalism. Her new book is titled Love Dances: Loss and Mourning in Intercultural Collaboration (Oxford University Press, 2021). She is also the author of Kinesthetic City: Dance and Movement in Chinese Urban Spaces (Oxford University Press, 2013) and coeditor, with Kenneth Speirs, of Mixing It Up: Multiracial Subjects (University of Texas Press, 2004). Her article on cartographies of race and the Chop Suey circuit, a group of Asian American cabaret entertainers who toured the nation during the World War II era, is published in TDR. Dance Research Journal has published her research on contended understandings of the term contemporary across dance genres and communities. She has also written articles in Representations, Performance Research, and other journals and anthologies. Kwan remains active as a professional dancer and is currently performing with Lenora Lee Dance.

Participants and topics are subject to change; visit Berkeley Arts + Design (artsdesign.berkeley.edu) for the most up-to-date series information.