Topaz Arts Dance Productions

The Divide choreography by Paz Tanjuaquio with Chia Ying Kao

TOPAZ ARTS Dance Productions explore the collaborative works by founding artists, composer/filmmaker Todd Richmond and choreographer/dancer Paz Tanjuaquio. Described by the New York Times as “intelligently conceived, image-filled dance”, their collaborations integrate dance and new music with film, visual arts & technology. A seamless collaboration of movement and images, dances by TOPAZ ARTS create kinetic environments that transport the viewer to an imaginative place.
Read Artist Bios >


Film still from “FULCRUM” by Todd Richmond

Recent awards for TOPAZ ARTS Dance Productions include National Endowment for the Arts/Access to Artistic Excellence, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Meet the Composer Commissioning/USA, Asian American Arts Alliance/JPMorgan SOAR Award, and a New York Foundation for the Arts BUILD/Homer Avila Memorial Award.  Their works have been commissioned and presented in New York City by the Danspace Project, Performance Space 122, La MaMa Moves Dance Festival, Dance Theater Workshop’s Fresh Tracks Series, Aaron Davis Hall, Symphony Space, and performed nationally at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Godt-Cleary Projects in Las Vegas, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and Ohio University. They have created works at numerous artist residencies internationally including Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, NY, The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida and Dance Theater Workshop’s Mekong Project where they conducted artistic research travel in Vietnam and Cambodia.


photo by Julieta Cervantes

All works listed are choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio, with original music & film by Todd Richmond,
visual design by Paz Tanjuaquio and Todd Richmond.

 

2009-2010

“The Divide” (2010)
Creators: choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio, with original music by Todd Richmond,
visual design by Paz Tanjuaquio and Todd Richmond.
Performers: Chia Ying Kao, Paz Tanjuaquio

“FULCRUM” (2009) – dance film
Creators: Film and original music by Todd Richmond, with choreography by
Paz Tanjuaquio. Produced by TOPAZ ARTS, Inc.
Performers: Chia Ying Kao, Paz Tanjuaquio

“The Divide: Four Square” (2010)
Creators: choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio, with original music by Todd Richmond
Performers: 18 dance students in the senior class at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts

“Etre: To Be” (2009) –  solo with dance film
Creators: choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio, new film and original music by Todd Richmond, voice over by Eva Perrotta.  Solo dance – a reprise of Part 3 of
“Thunder Against 1.2.3. (2005)” choreographed & performed by Paz Tanjuaquio.

Artistic Research Travel (2009) – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Creators: Composer Todd Richmond recorded live sound in the natural environment and choreographer Paz Tanjuaquio gathered movement material and initial ideas for the development of the duet “The Divide” and the evening-length work-in-development “Parallel Groove”.

Date/Location Performed:

July 20, 2010: presented “The Divide” for two dancers, and “FULCRUM” a dance film, in a shared evening with NY State DanceForce members. Presented by the Love Shoe IV Dance Festival at the Kiplinger Theater, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

June 27, 2010: ” FULCRUM” a dance on film, presented at American Dance Festival’s 15th Annual Dancing on Camera Festival, Durham, North Carolina.

Spring 2010: Guest Choreographer at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.
April 29-30, 2010: “The Divide: Four-Square” a new group work for 18 dancers,
made possible by Exploring the Arts; Tony Bennett Concert Hall, Astoria, NY.

March 26-28, 2010: Preview of a new work “The Divide” for two dancers, and the screening of “FULCRUM” a dance on film. Presented by the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival in a shared evening with Molissa Fenley, Nora Chipaumire, and Penny Hutchinson; New York, NY.

March 1-7, 2010: Company residency at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. Open rehearsal show on March 4, presented “ascendance” duet (2007), and the development of “The Divide”; Tivoli, NY.

November 21, 2009: new solo & dance film “Etre (To Be)” presented by TOPAZ ARTS, in “Cabaret Solitaire” a shared evening of solo work by choreographers Paz Tanjuaquio, Molissa Fenley and Nicholas Leichter; made possible by New York State DanceForce with funds from New York State Council on the Arts; Woodside, NY.

October 2009: two-week artistic research travel at Big Bend National Park, Texas.

2008-2009

“Now/What” (2009)
Creators: choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio, with original music and live sound mixing by Todd Richmond. Performers: Rebecca Bone, Chia Ying Kao, Paz Tanjuaquio

“on the other side of silence” (2008) – evening-length work
Creators: choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio, with original music and film by
Todd Richmond, lighting design by Mark T. Simpson.
Collaborative site-specific gallery exhibition & visual design by:
Paz Tanjuaquio, Todd Richmond, and Mark T. Simpson.
Guest choreography by: Molissa Fenley;
Costume design by: Jeffrey Wirsing
Performers: Rebecca Bone, Niles Ford, Chia Ying Kao, Yuki Nitta, Uta Takemura,
Paz Tanjuaquio, Robin Wyllie

Date/Location Performed:

May 14-15, 2009: Trio “Now/What” presented by La MaMa Moves Dance Festival/
New York International
at La MaMa, ETC.; New York, NY.

May 9, 2009: presented the dance film “Silence” and a new trio “Now/What”
Presented by BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, in a shared evening with Creative Outlet Dance Company; The Bronx, NY.

February 16-28, 2009: three-week choreography residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts. Open rehearsal show on February 27 presented the development of new material for “Now/What”; New Smyrna Beach, FL.

November 7, 2008: “Fulcrum” a new duet section for “on the other side of silence” choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio with dancer Niles Ford; presented by DanceNow/NYC at Dance Theater Workshop; New York, NY.

December 11-14, 2008: Premiere of the full evening-length production of “on the other side of silence” for 8 performers, presented by TOPAZ ARTS, made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet The Composer/Commissioning USA,
NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs; Woodside, NY.

 

2007-2008

“ascendance” (2007)
Creators: choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio, with original music by Todd Richmond.
Lighting design by Mark T. Simpson.
Collaborative site-specific gallery exhibition & visual design by:
Paz Tanjuaquio, Todd Richmond, and Mark T. Simpson.
Performers: Chia Ying Kao, Paz Tanjuaquio

International Project – Artist Talk/Movement Workshop (2008)
Creators: Lecture/demonstration on “Dance and Film” conducted by composer/filmmaker Todd Richmond and choreographer Paz Tanjuaquio.
Creative movement workshop by Paz Tanjuaquio.

International Project – Artistic Research Travel (2008)
Creators: composer/filmmaker Todd Richmond and choreographer Paz Tanjuaquio Three-week artistic research travel throughout Japan in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Sapporo, Toyko. Working with 16MM film and a Bolex camera, the collaborators gathered film footage and movement material, recording live sound in urban and natural environments, & participated in interviewing a survivor of the atomic bomb, for the development of “on the other side of silence” and the dance on film “FULCRUM”.

Date/Location Performed:

February 25, 2008: Movement Research at Judson Church, NY. Presented excerpt of “ascendance”, duet by Paz Tanjuaquio and Chia Ying Kao; New York, NY.

February 19, 2008: Artist Talk/ Movement Workshop, Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines/Diliman. Todd Richmond and Paz Tanjuaquio presented a lecture/demonstration on “Dance and Film”, followed by a creative movement workshop lead by choreographer Paz Tanjuaquio, open to university students and faculty of all dance levels, 30 participants; Quezon City, Philippines.

January 2008: Independent artistic research travel in Japan conducted by choreographer Paz Tanjuaquio and composer/filmmaker Todd Richmond. Working with 16MM film and a Bolex camera, the collaborators gathered film footage and movement material, participated in interviewing a survivor of the atomic bomb, for the development of “on the other side of silence” and the dance on film “FULCRUM”; on location at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Sapporo, Toyko – Japan

June 26, 2007: Solo/Solo, excerpts of “ascendance” presented by Thelma Hill Performing Arts at the Kumble Theater, Brooklyn, NY.

June 15-16, 2007: presented duet “ascendance” a showing of a new section for the evening-length work-in-progress “Soundless Music by Yoko Ono, Choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio”; TOPAZ ARTS, Woodside, NY.

Past Evening-length Works

“The Soundless Music by Yoko Ono” (2006) for 4 dancers with music and film by Todd Richmond. Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, and Meet the Composer Commissioning/USA. Premiered at Joyce SoHo, NY, June 1-3, 2006.

THUNDER AGAINST 1. 2. 3. (2005): 35 minutes. A three-part solo dance with film. Premiered at Danspace Project, NY, October 2005. Commissioning Initiative with support from the Jerome Foundation, with additional support by two Individual Artist Awards from Queens Council on the Arts. Excerpts presented at DTW Fresh Tracks, Brooklyn Museum, NY; Ohio University; Godt-Cleary Projects, Las Vegas, NV; Philadelphia Fringe Festival, PA.

TWELVE (2001): 45 minutes. Evening-length work for 5 dancers with music and video by Todd Richmond; text by Ava Chin. Commissioned by & premiered at Performance Space 122, NY, May 2001.

Strange Fruit & Other Secrets (1999): 60 minutes. Evening-length work for 5 dancers with music and video by Todd Richmond; sculpture by Albert Chong; original text by Ava Chin, Luis H. Francia, Nicky Paraiso, George Emilio Sanchez; costumes by Alpana Bawa. Inspired by a research trip to the Philippines, this work was developed at The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Japan, Thelma Hill Performing Arts. Excerpts presented by Joyce SoHo, Aaron Davis Hall, Symphony Space, NY and Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2000, PA. Premiered at Merce Cunningham Studio, NY, June 1999.

 

ARTIST RESIDENCIES

•   2010 Company Residency, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Tivoli, NY
Creative time to develop a new work “The Divide”; Conducted lecture/demonstration; Performed recent and new material created at the residency

•   2009 Associate Artist, Atlantic Center for the Arts, FL. Three-week residency to work with Master Artists Molissa Fenley (choreography), Bob Holman (poetry), and James Siena (visual arts). Created & performed a new solo work “Now/What”

•   2004 Dance Theater Workshop Suitcase Fund, Cambodia Creative Residency
four-week residency with 20 artists from the Mekong Region; performances and collaborative activities took place in Phnom Penh, Batambang, Ankor Wat

•   2003 Dance Theater Workshop Suitcase Fund, U.S./Vietnam Mekong Project;
four-week artistic research travel in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi; Guest teacher at the
Ho Chi Minh City Ballet

•   1998 Choreographers & Dancers Residency at The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, MA.
Five weeks. Commissioned to create a new work “Strange Fruit and Other Secrets”

•   1998 Associate Artist, Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Japan; three-week residency with Master Artists Ralph Lemon (choreography), Nan Goldin (photography), Frederick Tillis (music). Created and performed a new solo “Crows”.

•   1997 Atlantic Center for the Arts, FL; dance on camera residency with Master Artist Merce Cunningham. 1996 Associate Artist with choreographer Molissa Fenley.

•   1994–1996 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence, Van Lier Fellowship.
A two-year fellowship to support the creative process and the creation of three major works: “Displaced Garden”, “Cryptic”, “always not never a/part”

 

DANCE ON FILM

FULCRUM  – 16mm/color/15 min, 2009
Directed by Todd Richmond. Choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio. Music by Todd Richmond. Performers: Paz Tanjuaquio and Chia Ying Kao. Selected and screened at the American Dance Festival’s 15th Annual Dance for the Camera: International Festival of Film & Video Dance, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, NC

SILENCE – 16mm/BW/20 min, 2006
Directed by Todd Richmond. Choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio. Music by Todd Richmond. Performers: Lynn Huang, Chia Ying Kao, Paz Tanjuaquio, Uta Takemura. Presented by Dance Films Assoc., Donnell Media Center at Lincoln Center, NY

Dancing to Cambodia – 16mm/Color/12 min, 2005
Directed by Todd Richmond. Choreographed by Paz Tanjuaquio. Music by Todd Richmond. Presented at Queens Museum of Art, Joyce SoHo, TOPAZ ARTS, NY.

Rooftop – 16mm/BW/6 min, 2001
Directed by Todd Richmond. Choreographed & performed by Paz Tanjuaquio. Music by Todd Richmond. Presented at Godt-Cleary
Fine Arts, Las Vegas (2005); Sunnyside Short Films (2006)

Displaced Garden – 16mm/Color/9 min, 1996
Directed by Todd Richmond. Choreographed & performed by Paz Tanjuaquio. Music by Todd Richmond. Presented at the 4th International Festival Video Danza in Buenos Aires (1999), Video Cha Cha, NY (1998), and Thelma Hill Performing Arts, Brooklyn (1996)

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Pia Catton, “In Queens, Going Where the Art Leads”, The Wall Street Journal,
New York Culture City, January 10, 2011.

Claudia La Rocco, “Far-Away Places Move Close, Very Close”, The New York Times, Dance Review ‘New York International’ at La MaMa, May 17, 2009.

Rachel Kalina, “Seeing Through the Silence”, Ins & Outs Magazine Feature, Apr 2009.

Adam Pincus, “Looking for Harmony: Woodside dancer reflects on state of the world after 9/11”, Times Ledger, June 14, 2007.

Iman Khan, “Blending Art Forms: TOPAZ Provides What So Many Need”, Queens Tribune, Sept. 1 2006.

Deborah Jowitt, “Harmonious Worlds: Two women choreograph peaceful climates in disastrous times”, The Village Voice, June 13, 2006.

Roslyn Sulcas, “Imaginary Voyages to Distant Shores”, The New York Times, November 1, 2005.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa, “Exclusive Reviews”, No. 47, October 30, 2005.

Lisa J. Curtis, “Time to Dance”, GO Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Papers, Nov. 10, 2003.

Ursula Eagly, “Queens Dance Mix”, Dance Magazine, Vol. 77 No. 10, October 2003.

Na Rhee Ahn, “Profile: TOPAZ ARTS”, Asian American Arts Alliance, Newsletter
Oct-Dec 2002.

Ursula Eagly, “New York Stories”, (ai) performance for the planet, Arts International,
Fall 2002.

Ann Brady, editor, “Interview”, Atlantic Center for the Arts 2000 Review, Fall 2000.

Gia Kourlas, “Exotic Fruit: Paz Tanjuaquio’s work ripens following a trip to her Philippines homeland”, Time Out New York, Issue No. 195, June 17-24, 1999.