Written By: Arielle Shannon
In the vibrant world of dance, Miaotian Sun, a Chinese dancer and choreographer, is pushing the boundaries of tradition and culture. Miaotian Sun’s dance journey began in China at four years old with a foundation rooted in Chinese folk and Classical Chinese Dance. She quickly fell in love with the medium and pursued a dance major at NYU in 2014. This was a pivotal moment when she first encountered Western dance styles, expanding her horizons. Miaotian continued her dance education in New York City and recently received her Master’s Degree in Dance from NYU. Currently, she is further refining her artistry through training with the prestigious Peridance company while simultaneously teaching dance independently. Her story is one of passion, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of artistic expression.
Miaotian’s path to becoming a dancer was not without its share of challenges. In her early 20s, she faced injuries that physically debilitated her. This adversity forced her to confront the question of how a dancer with physical limitations can remain fully expressive in their craft. She accepted the challenge, emerging with a unique choreography style that revels in breaking boundaries. Miaotian’s work seamlessly blends various dance forms, with a distinct emphasis on fusing Chinese dance elements with Western styles.
Her most recent work, “Garden of Eden,” is co-choreographed with her fellow Chinese dance colleague, Xinyi Zhang, and has original music by Fang. This mesmerizing piece was specifically created for the Spark Theatre Festival in New York City. “Garden of Eden” draws inspiration from the lifestyle of Chinese female dancers before 1949. This historical context sheds light on the struggles they faced, particularly regarding gender oppression and subordination as both artists and individuals. Chinese female dancers from this era were not only artists but also regarded as cultural icons. While they grappled with societal expectations and gender roles, their contributions to the art of dance were profound. Miaotian’s work aims to highlight the gender aggression that women still experience to this day, encouraging the audience to reflect on their own experiences, regardless of their preferred pronouns.
Miaotian Sun’s personal mission goes beyond choreography. She is a cultural communicator, using dance as a conduit to facilitate global cultural exchange. Her vision for the future is to organize international dance festivals that connect artists from around the world. These festivals will serve as platforms for artists from diverse backgrounds to share, learn, and grow together, creating a tapestry of artistic expression that transcends borders. In the bustling artistic landscape of New York City, Miaotian’s journey is a testament to the power of dance as a universal language.
Emerging Artists Theatre is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary season by showcasing over 60 original new works at their bi-annual Spark Theatre Festival NYC. The festival presents new musicals, dance, solo shows, cabaret and plays in various stages of development. “Garden of Eden” will be performed on November 4th. This performance delves into the intricacies of female aggression and competition, encouraging audiences to reflect on their own encounters with female relationships and the multifaceted dynamics woven within them.