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Chih-Jou dancing in blue

Past DTP Shows

Above the Water

Chih-Jou Cheng

Artist Director & Performer

Chih-Jou Cheng is the co-artistic director of Dawn Theatre Project and is originally from Taiwan. She is a multidisciplinary artist emphasizing on movement and puppetry. She has studied devised theatre, community theatre, and theatre education in her home country of Taiwan. In Taiwan, she co-founded the Move.Space dance company, directed Violate/Space [2014] and was the project leader for the community-led project Hold Your Hand [2015]. In Chicago, her most recent credits include The King and I (Drury Lane, 2022), Newsies as co-choreographer (Music House, 2021), and A Chorus Line as Connie Wong (Metropolis PAC, 2018). She is currently dancing with The Rooted Space Dance Company and working as a teaching artist. 

Chih-Jou's Journey

"For me, creating meaningful art is a way of living, of loving harder and thinking deeper.

I started dancing only in my late teens, but it was then that suddenly the world made sense to me. Growing up neurodivergent, dancing quickly became the best means for me to feel and express what I feel. Since then, movement art has been my way of understanding the world around me, seeing life from different perspectives, and experimenting with compassion. 
Dance has always been the answer to healing and telling those unspeakable feelings of human experience: joy, sorrow, challenges, and victories. Creating meaningful art is to me a way of living, of loving harder and thinking deeper. 
Collaboration is also essential to my creative process. In 2014 I led my first community theater project with an elderly community in Taiwan with the goal of sharing their history and love stories. In 2022, I conceived and produced the devised physical theater Above the Water, which explores grief in a communal setting to harness the healing power of art.
I strive to use my art to create a brave space for people to connect, share stories, evoke conversation, and explore collective healing as a community."

You can see more of Chih-Jou's work at

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