Find out more about our work and read guest posts from artists, and learn about our community.
May 2023: Jasmine Liaw
Who is Jasmine Liaw in a sentence?
A queer alien with hybrid interests in experimental contemporary dance performance – seeking to unearth art that is connective, visceral, and showered with polyrhythmic soundscapes.
Tell us a bit about your work and practice.
I am an emerging Chinese-Canadian interdisciplinary artist in dance performance, new media art, and experimental film. My practice explores the interconnections and intersectionalities of various bodies. As a mixed-race female artist, I frequently integrate my contemporary views of my Hakka diaspora, queerness, and environmental anxiety in my projects, and value those themes in collaborations.
I’m deeply honoured and grateful to be a part of so many artistic communities across Canada. I am the Artistic Associate of Chimerik 似不像 Collective, working in interdisciplinary research and creation, and a member of Shoes Off Collective, an emerging artist community centred within the Asian Diaspora. I’m also a part of the research group, Dias:Stories where I’m currently working to create audio-movement focused workshops in conjunction with my recent auto-ethnographic dance film, xīn nī 廖芯妮.
How long have you been dancing?
Ever since I was 2… 21 years!
I started my formal training 13 years ago.
How does dance fit into your life currently?
I’m thankful to be working and currently integrating my dance practice into motion capture productions. Through a XR lens, it has been so fulfilling to conjoin my passions in contemporary dance and digital embodiment. The ways nature and ancestry can be embodied and experienced is exciting to be a part of. Within these dance-technological productions, these opportunities have allowed me to express my knowledge and curiosity for topics of colonization, climate change, and diasporic identity.
I see movement in the care I have for my ancestry. I enjoy the engagement of movement research and the access to explore stories through the body. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with totality and formlessness in the body. There’s something about somatic and paralinguistic communication through dance that allows me to continue my love and curiosity for embodied narratives.
How would you describe dance’s impact on your life?
Dance has always been a support system – nurturing my inner child and mindfulness. As a vessel to explore my curiosities within the realm of my own colour-tinged emotions and experiences, dance has empowered my body as a home for play and meditation.
What three core values drive your engagement with dance?
Balance discipline and play!
Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!
Express the internal!
Do you have a particular practice that you carry out each day or have you implemented new practices as a way of adapting to the current climate?
I prioritize recording improvisation sessions with myself. This allows me the time and energy to release and navigate any wonderings or stress. Anywhere – at any time of the day. I do my best to be receptive with my body. Dedicating a moment (however in-depth or brief) to celebrate and appreciate my body and its capabilities allows me to connect with myself and inspires how I interact with my day. Investigating the inner registers of my thoughts and imagination with these improvisations provides the time to lean into my exhaustion and joy all at once.
What would you say are the most significant benefits for you in being a Dance Centre member?
As an emerging artist, being a Dance Centre member has supported my professional development – fostering a safe and inclusive environment to explore my practice as well as deepen connections within Vancouver’s dance community. Their opportunities for members offers a wide range of care and support.
Interested in becoming a Dance Centre Member? Learn more here.
We support the development of dance in BC as a resource centre providing programs and services for dance professionals.
Photos by Jonathan Silveira, Laura Zeke