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Xiang Xu Dance presents "XY" (World Premiere)

Xiang Xu Dance presents "XY" (World Premiere)


Xiang Xu Dance


Aaron Davis Hall
115 Convent Ave
New York City, NY 10027


Thursday, November 16, 2023 - 7:00pm
Friday, November 17, 2023 - 7:00pm



Xiang Xu Dance

Join us for a captivating 1-hour journey as choreographer Xiang Xu and Associate Choreographer Heidi Yu introduce their groundbreaking work. 



DANCERS Jonathan Colafrancesco, Gabrielle DiNizo

MUSICIANS Luca Longobardi, Yoni Sharon



                                                                                    WORLD PREMIERE

"XY" stands as a profound exploration of human self-awareness, extending a compelling invitation for our audience to embark on a voyage of self-discovery and introspection. As the dancers take the stage, they unravel the complexities of our existence within a world steeped in duality, allowing viewers to ponder their own place within this intricate tapestry.

Inspired by the evocative verses of Anne Sexton and Paul Laurence Dunbar, “XY” emerges as a choreographic masterpiece that encourages you to traverse the realms of discovery and reflection. With every graceful movement and poignant expression, this dance work beckons you to reimagine the profound relationship between dance and the essence of human philosophy. We invite you to join us on this captivating journey, where art, movement, and introspection converge to create a truly transformative experience.



Established in the heart of New York City in early 2015, Xiang Xu Dance stands as a dynamic and emerging dance theater company. Our mission is to craft a harmonious convergence of Asian philosophies with the avant-garde expressions of Western contemporary arts, ushering in a new era of dance that marries novel bodily aesthetics with the grace of classical Chinese movements.

Central to our creative pursuit is the reimagining of contemporary dance, rooted in the infusion of traditional values. We channel our artistic energies into refining bodily etiquette, reviving the resonance of timeless emotions, and perfecting the nuanced expressions inherent in practices like the three fundamental bodily curves, the grounding of center of gravity, and the exploration of internal conflict and energy dynamics. This multidimensional approach allows us to unearth a rich tapestry of techniques that evoke both tradition and modernity.

Our journey has been illuminated by a trail of impactful dance projects, leaving footprints of creativity across prominent global stages. From the prestigious Beijing Dance Festival in China to the hallowed halls of Alexandrinsky Theater Russia, from the esteemed Joffrey Academy of Dance to the captivating performances at Boris Eifman Dance Academy Russia, our performances have woven tales of cultural convergence. Venturing further, we have graced the stages of esteemed institutions such as the Palestinian Diyar Theater, Aakash Odedra Dance Company UK, The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in New York, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater in Chicago, and the esteemed Broad Theater in Los Angeles.

With an unwavering commitment to growth and innovation, our future envisions collaborative endeavors that transcend artistic boundaries. We aspire to partner with visionaries from diverse artistic realms, catalyzing the creation and presentation of unparalleled performances that transcend the norm. In doing so, we hope to contribute not only to the evolution of dance but to the larger narrative of cultural integration and artistic exploration.

In sum, Xiang Xu Dance embodies a journey where tradition meets innovation, creating a unique artistic narrative that bridges the gap between East and West. Our aspirations extend beyond dance, aiming to sculpt an enduring legacy of cultural harmony through the language of movement and expression.




Xiang Xu is an internationally acclaimed choreographer, dancer, and instructor based in Philadelphia and New York City. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and serves as an esteemed professor of dance at Temple University. 

With a remarkable career spanning multiple continents, Xiang has received numerous awards for his choreography, including the prestigious “Gold Lion” at the Singapore World Music & Dance Competition. He has collaborated with renowned dance companies worldwide and founded his own company, Xiang Xu Dance.

Xiang's work combines traditional Asian aesthetics with contemporary dance techniques, resulting in groundbreaking choreography that redefines the art form. He has also developed Sino-Contemporary, an innovative dance training system rooted in Chinese classical dance, martial arts, and other Asian aesthetics. As a soloist, Xiang has performed at prestigious venues across the globe, showcasing his exceptional talent and diverse repertoire. He is dedicated to elevating Chinese traditional body aesthetics and promoting cross-cultural understanding through dance in the 21st century.

Associate Choreographer

Hyung Ji Yu (Heidi) is a distinguished international choreographer, dancer, and instructor, currently residing in the vibrant dance scene of NYC. In 2015, she achieved a significant milestone, earning an MFA in dance from NYU Tisch, a testament to her dedication to the art. Heidi is not only a performer but also an artistic director, proudly leading As Arts NY Dance since 2013, and she has worked with Xiang on an XY Motion project since 2017.

Her teaching endeavors have graced the halls of prestigious institutions, including Sacred Heart University, Ailey Camp at Johns Hopkins University, Broadway Dance Center, American Youth Dance Theater, and New Haven Ballet. In 2019-2020, she was honored with a CUNY Dance Residency at The City College of New York, further solidifying her standing in the dance community. In 2022, she was invited as a guest artist at Tufts University, showcasing her profound influence and expertise.

Her choreography has left an indelible mark on the New York City dance scene, with performances at renowned venues such as Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, Symphony Space, and Kaye Playhouse, enchanting audiences with her artistic vision and boundless creativity.


Gabrielle DiNizo (Dayton, OH) is a dance artist and administrator based in NYC. She graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University/The Ailey School with a BFA in Dance and English. There she performed works by Robert Battle, Adam Baruch, Brice Mousset, Earl Mosley, and Manuel Vignouelle. She previously performed as a company member with Jon Lehrer Dance Company, touring nationally and internationally. Gabby is currently a dancer with Xiang Xu Dance, Forza Dance Company, and an apprentice with Parsons Dance Company. In addition, Gabby serves as the Director of Operations for Pony Box Dance Theatre. She is thrilled to be a part of XY.

Jonathan Colafrancesco is an Italian dance artist currently based in New York. He has danced in productions of Italian and international choreographers like Enzo Celli, Elisabetta Minutoli, Dario Lupinacci, Roberta Ferrara, Samuel Pott, Vivake Khamsingsavath. Jonathan is currently a dancer for Xiang Xu Dance, Ballet Nepantla, Pony Box Dance Theatre, WHITE WAVE, LaneCoArts, Project Tag, Spark Movement Collective, and SandSilk dance. He graduated from the Certificate Program at Peridance in NYC. He moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2017 to study with contemporary choreographers from companies such as Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin inc. He has also danced in works by Rena Butler, Roya Carrera, Caleb Teicher, Assaf Salhov, Igal Perry, Tsai-Hsi Hung, Yoshito Sakuraba and Norbert De La Cruz III. He has recently been commissioned for choreographing on Terre Dance Collective and Spark Movement Collective' s dancers.


Proudly Sponsored by City College Center of the Arts, the Vice Provost Arts Grant from Temple University and Honey Academy.

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