For my original works, I strive to be unbound by form, allowing the performances to take multiple shapes which allow specific relationships with our audience to unfold. I’m interested in performance as both an act of radical intimacy and a platform for the grandest of lies. I love awkward subtext, silent loneliness, imperfect goodbyes, uncomfortable laughter, aggressive impulses, secret longing, irrational fears, TMI, and I love the way banana slugs mate. These are some of the things I want to explore in my work.
I often imagine myself an anthropologist. Each project is an uncharted island through which I lead an investigative team on research-based adventures to generate highly crafted, aesthetically-specific performances. For each expedition, I gather deeply curious, skilled and daring galvanizers of varying disciplines to agitate and analyze a topic from multiple perspectives. Collaboration is at the center of it all.
I work across disciplines; as a choreographer and director for plays, choirs, dance companies, and as a maker of performance.
Erika Chong Shuch is a performance maker, choreographer and director whose topic-driven ruminations coalesce into imagistic assemblages of music, movement, text, and design. Interested in expanding ideas around how performance is created and shared, Erika’s work has been performed in city halls, theaters, industrial offices spaces and food courts. Her original performance works have been supported and commissioned by Berkeley Rep’s Groundfloor, Intersection for the Arts, YBCA, deYoung Museum, Headlands Center for the Arts, Djerassi, Dancers’ Group, Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange/Corcoran Gallery/DC and in Korea: Daejeon Metropolitan Company, Chang Mu Company, Mullae Art Space.
Erika received the 2016 Creative Capital Grant, Center for Cultural Innovation’s Investing in Artist’s Grant, Gerbode Foundation’s Emerging Choreographer’s Award, Goldie Award, Falstaff Award, ongoing support from SF Art’s Commission and Zellerbach Family Fund, Helen Hayes Award (nominee) for The Conference of the Birds at the Folger Theater/DC. Erika was Associate Director for The Gift of Nothing at the Kennedy Center. As a choreographer for theater, Erika has worked at ACT (The Unfortunates, directed by Shana Cooper), Folger Theater (multiple shows) and as movement director at Cal Shakes where she also performed Ariel in Tempest and Titania in Midsummer. Directing credits include Eurydice and God’s Ear at Shotgun and Lily’s Revenge (by Taylor Mac) at the Magic. Upcoming projects include co-creating Iron Shoes with Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble (with support by Creative Work Fund, Rainin Foundation, NEA, Berkeley Rep). Upcoming choreography: Julias Ceasar (directed by Shana Cooper) and Beauty and the Beast (directed by Eric Tucker) at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Erika is core faculty for the new Theater Performance Making MFAat CIIS (SF) and University of Chichester (UK).
The Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project is a fiscally sponsored company of Intersection for the Arts and has been creating original performance work under the artistic direction of Chong Shuch since 2002.