By Nick Christophers
For dancer / choreographer Shuning Huang it was evident that dance would be the career to follow regardless of any obstacles. New York which is known as the mecca for the arts became her choice to accomplish her goals. This became the steppingstone for her to build a career and expose her God given talents.
Shuning was inspired by many dancers but one individual that stood out most for her was Dimitris Papaioannou. His unique approach to the body and how he maximized the visual impact of dance was what caught Shuning’s attention. She learned that dance does not always need to be structured but can be executed with minimal movement with precision and intention. These disciplines shaped her outlook on dance and its myriad of possibilities.
She has studied jazz, ballet, modern and traditional Chinese dance, yet modern dance became her focus. For her it is less rigid, and it offers a sense of freedom of expression and emotion. When asked about the differences and similarities of performing dance in China and the US she mentioned that they do not vary much. The essence of performance seems similar, but the way dance is expressed differs. In China there is a subtle approach that depicts emotions and a type of storytelling. In the US she has found a more bold and expressive style that allows room to push boundaries and share varied levels of movement and storytelling.
“Performing in both China and the United States has indeed been a rich and enlightening experience. While the essence of the performance experience remains similar, there are notable differences in how artistic expressions are conveyed.”
So far, Shuning has performed at such venues like the NY Botanical Garden, Mark O’Donnell Theater, WAXWorks, Culture Lab LIC, the Tank, Dixon Place, Emerging Artists Theater to name a few. One of her favorite performances was the first piece she ever did in New York called “Thou汝.” It was special for her since it allowed her to fuse Eastern and Western influences to a diverse audience. It is one of her goals to bridge cultures via dance and to create lasting, meaningful connections along different artistic traditions. Currently, she has a few performances slated for the rest of 2023. On September 23rd she will be showcasing her solo choreography titled “Afterglow” at the Balance Arts Center, on the 7th of October she will be dancing in collaboration with sculptures at the Grounds for Sculpture (which is a part of the The Outlet Dance Project) and lastly on November 17th she will be part of a group dance performance titled “To Fold and Unfold” at WADE into ACTIVISM.
Currently, Shuning is a dancer in the dance group Six Degrees Dance and at the New York Chinese Culture Center. She also teaches dance where she strives to develop a more effective learning environment for her students. A code she lives by is that dance in its purist form is an expression with no boundaries that allows various stars to shine indefinitely. It seems her star is shining brighter with every step she takes.