With a drive to perfect technique, Connie Shiau of the Hubbard Street Dance Company pushes herself physically and mentally to achieve her high standards. Her hope is "that dance can become a bigger communicative vessel in this society to unite people." Credit: Max Thomsen
Born in Florida, Shiau was raised in Tainan, Taiwan, where her mother first took her to a dance studio at the age of eight. Immediately she was fascinated with the physicality of dance. She moved to New York at 18 after being accepted at the dance conservatory at SUNY Purchase College. She joined Hubbard Street in 2018.Credit: Max Thomsen
After receiving a Greenhouse program grant to develop a solo performance for the Chicago Dancemakers Forum to be held October 12, Shiau had only a couple of months to create the work.Credit: Max Thomsen
Shiau keeps a notebook from which she draws inspiration, mapping movements as they come to her, sometimes in response to words or patterns she writes down.Credit: Max Thomsen
“My journey has sculpted and is continuing to sculpt my identity as an artist and human being,” Schiau says. “The definition might not be defined yet and might never ever be, but the big strokes that are there are inspiring me to keep digging and searching for who I am, and what my role is in this society.”Credit: Max Thomsen
Shiau’s upcoming solo for the Chicago Dancemakers Forum also drew inspiration from Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at last year’s Senate confirmation hearings for now Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh.Credit: Max Thomsen
Shiau says she wants to explore the expectations of women in relation to the physical expression of their bodies and social behavior.Credit: Max Thomsen
What Shiau likes most about Chicago: “Diversity, community. Chicago pushes for growth and change.”Credit: Max Thomsen
Credit: Max Thomsen
Shiau says the highlight of her career so far was “performing in my home country for the first time as a professional dancer” last month, where she presented her solo work in progress at a prestigious festival for new choreography.Credit: Max Thomsen