Ching-Ying Chien

  • Nov. 8. 2018:  Her choreography debut VULTURE premiered at the Taiwan Dance Platform organized by National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (WeiWuying). Critics of the platform praised her physical ability as “possessing explosive energy and prodigious presence”.
  • Jun. 7. 2018:  Her choreography debut VULTURE, inspired by an ancient legend of dying vulture’s sun-ward flying, was selected as part of Akram Khan Company’s Portraits in Otherness series. The short version premiered in June 2018 at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells Theater (London).

Choreographer and dancer of Akram Khan Company.

Born in 1988. Graduated from Department of Dance, National Taiwan University of Arts.

Though a new talent in the field of choreography, Chien is always a highly sought-after dancer. She has worked with Akram Khan Company since iTMOi in 2013. Her perfect performance in Until the Lions won the Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) at the 2016 National Dance Awards (UK). Dance critic Lyndsey Winship also praised her “a woman of powerful but serene stillness, who shape-shifts between delicate, melting movements, stubborn decisiveness and contorted convulsing.”

She has also collaborated with other choreographers and companies, such as Fang-Yi Sheu, Shu-Yi Chou, Kuan-Hsiang Liu and HORSE. Besides theater performance, she also worked as the art model and improvising dancer for Guo-qiang Cai’s “Day and Night”, a gunpowder drawing. She was the dancer and choreographer for “Stranger”, a music video of hip-hop musician Plan B, directed by Adam Smith. Together with Akram Khan, she created a duet for “Can We Live with Robots”, a TV documentary commissioned by Channel 4.

Her latest choreography piece is Vulture, supported by LMF Dance Fund and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan), which will be premiered in 2018.



Initial inspiration for this piece came from an old Tibetan myth about vultures. It is said that nobody ever sees the body of a deceased vulture. When a vulture knows it’s life is close to ending it will fly high up towards the sun and melt away into nothing. It ties in a little with the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus. Man imitating nature and failing. The vast sky of freedom motivates Icarus to soar high till his wings melted, and causes his downfall. Both characters are approaching the sun. The vulture is controlling the end of its own life, while the man losing life for the craving of freedom.

Ching-Ying Chien also gained inspiration from her life. Witnessing the death of her family or friend, she learns the uncontrollable nature of human life, and exclaims man’s various limitations. As a dancer, she can break free from the human frame and willfully transforms herself. On the stage she is at times animal and at times human. By interpreting the possibility, impossibility, madness and control of a free spirit inside a human body, she explores the limitation and freedom of life.

Premiere: Nov. 8, 2018 at Weiwuying Playhouse, Kaohsiung , Taiwan. Commissioned by National Performing Arts Center – National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), Taiwan.

Sponsored by the National Culture and Arts Foundation and made possible by a grant from the Lo Man-Fei Dance Fund, Cloud Gate Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan.

Development of Vulture’s short version was produced by Akram Khan Company as part of their Portraits in Otherness initiative and the first stage premiered on Jun. 7, 2018 at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells Theater, London, UK.

“Her physical ability is astonishing. Her tiny body possesses an explosive energy and a prodigious presence… the physical training and exploration of animal primitiveness have indeed made a deep mark on her work, enabling her to represent the haughtiness and insolence of the vulture, as well as its determination when facing death.”

Meng-Hsuan Wu, Critics for Taiwan Dance Platform