Muna Tseng

MUNA TSENG is a choreographer acclaimed for her seamless fusion of Asian aesthetics with Western cross performance ideas and a dancer celebrated for her eloquence and passionate precision.  She has created, choreographed and performed over 40 works in over 100 cities and festivals in 15 countries including the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea, England, Scotland, Bosnia, Israel, Greece, Estonia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Tseng has received a New York Dance and Performance (BESSIE) Award, two fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and numerous commissioning grants from New York State Council on the Arts.  Honors include “Best Choreography” for “The Silver River” in Philadelphia’s 2000 theater season, “Distinguished Service in the Arts” from New York City Council President Andrew Stein, and “Artist of National Merit” from The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

She has been on faculty at New York University’s Atlantic Theater Program and Playwrights Horizon Program.  She founded and directed the Summer Dance Residency program at Queens College (City University of New York), and was on the dance faculty at Douglas College at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Tseng serves as a Bessie: New York Dance and Performance Award selector, and chairs the ‘Current Practice’ sub-committee, looking at work that addresses and challenges the standards and conventions of dance, installation, and performance. She has also served on the Board of Directors at Danspace Project in New York and numerous panels including New York State Council on the Arts, Maryland Council on the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Tseng was born and raised in Hong Kong, educated in Canada where she began her dance training with Magda and Gertrude Hanova, disciples of Mary Wigman.  Invited to New York in 1978, she became the protege of Jean Erdman and Joseph Campbell at their Theater of the Open Eye.  Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times  noted:an exquisite dancer, absolutely breathtakingA choreographer with something important to say.”  Tseng inherited many of Erdman’s roles in classics dating from the 1940’s, danced to live music by seminal composers John Cage, Lou Harrison, Teiji Ito and immersed in the classics of world literature and mythology of Joseph Campbell.

Muna Tseng
Muna Tseng photographed by Michael Mundy