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Sarah Chien

creates improvised dance works with collaborators from dance, music, circus and theatre.
Read her artist statement.

Sarah has performed her own and collaborative projects throughout New York City, the United States, as well as in Greece, Slovakia, Spain, Poland and Italy. In New York, her work has been shown at Joe’s Pub, University Settlement, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Triskelion Arts, The Kraine, Arts on Site, The Brick, Eden’s Expressway and Chez Bushwick. She is known for a grounded, emotive movement style and welcoming work that straddles the abstract and the accessible.

Sarah approaches performance as a way of revealing more of the self, and uses the language of improvisation as a way to foster dialogue across artistic disciplines. Her major performance/production projects include ∞therside collective, an international improvisation collective of which she is a founding member; ¡Spontaneous Combustion!, an all-improvised performance party series on her homemade rooftop dance floor, and Songs Stuck in My Body, her touring dance-theater solo show. She recently self-published a book called How to Build a Dance Floor.

Sarah is known for a grounded, emotive movement style and welcoming work that straddles the abstract and the accessible. 

Sarah has taught contemporary floorwork and improvisation classes in Italy, Greece, at the National Ballet of Ecuador, at Princeton University and throughout New York City at Chez Bushwick, Mark Morris, Gibney Dance, Abrons Arts Center and Brooklyn Studios for Dance. She founded Floor Friends, a training network and platform through which she curated and produced independent classes, workshops and occasional performances. She has produced workshops with teachers from New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Ecuador, Argentina, Costa Rica, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden. 

A queer, multiracial, third-generation New Yorker, Sarah was raised in Illinois but returned “home” to the NYC in 2006. She was a company member for Andre Zachery/Renegade Performance Group, Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, and Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance. She attended Barnard College, and afterwards studied extensively with David Zambrano, whose work greatly influences her teaching and approach to performance. 


Viewing training as both research and craft, she maintains a rigorous personal practice. She is currently researching "instant memoir", a performance score/form using extemporaneous autobiographical text and improvised movement to illuminate realizations about a moment in time and place. When not dancing, she can be found working in the local food system as an organic vegetable farmer, tractor operator and market seller.

Sarah was based in New York City since 2006. She spent the 2022 growing season on Long Island's East End and in 2023 moved to New York's Hudson Valley.

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