Still from In Disposal, a video project by Grace Tong

The worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic has changed my life as a dancer and student drastically, yet I am fortunate to be able to continue to learn, to make, and to dance. I’ve just finished my second year at NYU Tisch, and will be graduating in one year’s time. I’ve decided to also pursue a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and hope add a Creative Writing minor in the coming semester.

The 2019-2020 school year was filled with self-discovery, work, and change, and was an absolute blast. In the fall semester (2019) I was injured briefly, but was still able to perform in four student-choreographed works, and created the piece Raw Woman Breakfast in November. The in-person spring semester was cut short and I returned to Seattle in March, putting aside two works in progress that were set to premiere in May 2020. However, in quarantine, the screen has become our stage. Recent video works created through remote collaboration include: Munch! Brunch! Bunch! (with Alex Swader, Hiroka Nagai, Oscar Escabedo, Kindall Almond, Xiangfu Xiao, and Eliza Randall) and Do you think it’s an omen? (with Sunhi Keller).

These works were respectively shown in NYU Tisch’s Choreographers, Composers, and Designers showing and Tisch Dance Works 5. I was also selected as a weekly finalist in New York Dance Project’s Quarantine Choreography Competition for my short project In Disposal, developed over time as a film project to examine how we have repurposed our private spaces in the past months.

In this time of isolation, I have found myself to be sensitive and prone to deep introspection. At first, this was somewhat crippling, though as we dance into a third month (in Washington that is) of our at-home lives, this emotional state has become an inspiration. Recently, I have been most interested in Zoom choreography, video documentation of daily life, visual art, baking, and reading.

In response to this feeling of inspiration, I’m going to launch a page specifically as an archive of what I make during this period of isolation. Stay well, stay safe, stay positive.

🙂 Grace

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