Interview with: Discovia Performer Shihya Peng

Time to read: 5 minutes

Today we introduce you to contemporary dancer and performer Shihya Peng. Shihya incorporates different styles and schools in her performing style and teaching, from classical and contemporary ballet to traditional Chinese dancing. Originally from Taiwan, she began dancing at the age of 8. In 2009 having received a scholarship, she moved to Utah, USA to study and work. There she obtained her Master’s degree from the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah while teaching contemporary dance to non-major students at the University.

Throughout her career, Shihya has performed and taught at various locations around the world. In her dancing she has collaborated with Honji Wang and Sébastien Ramirez, François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea, Collectif (LA) HORDE, Barbara Matijevic and Giuseppe Chico, River Lin, Karine Saporta, James Carlès, Julien Lestel, Chantal Loïal, Théâtre du Châtelet, and Opera of Marseilles among others. In her teaching, Shihya’s philosophy is influenced by the Gaga technique, created by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, which emphasises movement quality, awareness of space, and consciousness of ourselves and others.

Since 2012 Shihya is based in France where she continues to develop her dance and techniques through various projects. Currently, wishing to introduce the younger generation to dance she teaches contemporary dance classes in several high schools in Paris.

We are very pleased to announce we will be welcoming Shihya with a performance and workshop at Discovia 2022.

From ‘My body is a Queer History Museum’ – Paris edition by River Lin.
At Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, 21-22 May 2022 @ 14h-18h.

Describe what you do in your own words? What is unique about the way you do it that makes you stand out?

I am a dancer & performer and what is unique about what I do is that in order to move forward in my practice (both physically and professionally) I make sure to primarily follow my instinct.

What inspired you to go and do it? How did it all start?

It all started by asking myself a multitude of questions while listening to the echo in my body.

Describe a moment of huge inspiring breakthrough in your personal-professional evolution.

In 2021 I became pregnant and noticed that I began having very strong feelings of compassion for situations and others in a very new way. It was then that I realised how our point of view can change so drastically by different situations, and how this can shape and form our lives. I also began to see how being generous to ourselves and others is a vital point of our existence. Since that period, keeping these feelings of compassion and generosity as focal points drive both my personal and professional evolution.

What is your current Mount Everest? What are you in the process of creating in the world? Your ultimate vision and dream?

I hope that we could all have a place of calm in order to continue creating a peaceful world. And of course, live positively in order to be harmonious and happy.

Improvisation/ Piece on the music of Alexandre Bouvier, 2022

What do iDiscover and its community mean to you?

This will be the first time I will be participating in an iDiscover community event, and I am really looking forward to it! As my dancing philosophy is routed in Gaga Dancing my aim is to share the joy of awareness of the body and dancing with the community. The movement of the body will be our vehicle for expressing ourselves in a quest to find freedom and a peaceful moment.

What is your daily/weekly/monthly ritual or performance hack that really works for you?

What works for me is closing my eyes and meditating. I think of the people I love that are around me and think of how I have gone through all sorts of experiences in my life and what I have gained by living them. It doesn’t necessarily calm me down, it mostly motivates me :)

From ‘My body is a Queer History Museum’ – Paris edition by River Lin.
At Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, 21-22 May 2022 @ 14h-18h.

What is your guilty pleasure?

It has to be food and wine!

Best travel tip or secret location to share with us?

There is a secret location that I would love to share! It’s the island of Guadeloupe and its archipelago in the Caribbean. Especially Sainte-Anne beach is a paradise for me. I have never visited another place with such beauty, I fell in love straight away <3

What is your favourite quote or a question you want to leave us with?

I have two quotes to share

“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”

-Sigmund Freud.

and “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

– Lao Tzu

Check out past and future performances of Shihya