Oct 162003
 
Authors: Seth Davis

For an internationally renowned dancer and choreographer,

Chung-Fu Chang admits he did not have a particularly complex reason

for his initial love of dance.

“When I was young, I was fascinated to see people move onstage.

That made me want to study dance. Very simple,” Chang said.

This simple fascination led Chang to leave Taiwan to take

advantage of a full scholarship at the Boston Conservatory. It was

there that he began adding Western elements to his traditional

Chinese dancing.

Since beginning his professional career in 1986, Chang has done

solo performances in Taiwan, London and across the United

States.

He has taught in schools across the United States, including

Kent State University, Ohio University and the University of

Florida.

Now Chang has brought his hybrid dance style dance to CSU. Chang

said he has already had some positive experiences since being hired

as an assistant professor in the Department of Music, Theatre and

Dance in mid-August.

“I think mostly I enjoy seeing students make progress,” Chang

said. “To see them shaping their dreams to be true, so they have a

good career after training. It stimulates myself in terms of

creativity for dance.”

When he is not teaching modern dance, Chang performs,

choreographs and acts as an adviser for senior dance concerts.

Chang said this ability to spread his talents around is

satisfying.

“Right now, I still perform and choreograph. I enjoy the place I

am in now because I can do three things at once; that is teach,

dance and choreograph,” He said.

Chang estimates that he performs almost every two months. This

year he also plans to choreograph four dance concerts, as well as

choreographing for Ballet Nouveau Colorado and the Ohio Ballet.

One of the challenges Chang said he finds with instructing is

teaching his students new material instead of just recycling his

old material. This challenge, in Chang’s opinion, refreshes his own

dancing.

Jane Slusarski-Harris, director of dance, said she appreciates

the culture and experience that Chang brought when he came to

CSU.

“There’s a whole range of movement experiences he’s had growing

up in Taiwan and learning classical Chinese dance,”

Slusarski-Harris said. “Being exposed to international

choreographers has also influenced his work, and he brings that to

other students and faculty.”

Slusarski-Harris said Chang’s dancing is enjoyable to watch

because of its artistic beauty.

“He’s very expressive. Very flowing, yet strong. He’s a very

beautiful dancer with a commanding presence when he dances. Your

eye is naturally drawn to him,” she said.

In Slusarski-Harris’ opinion, Chang is also talented when it

comes to teaching. She said he helps them by carefully evaluating

what level the students are at and then giving them the necessary

information to improve. He does this by demonstrating correct

techniques, using imagery and giving positive encouragement and

feedback.

Janelle Behan is a senior dance major who has Chang as her

adviser and instructor of two of her classes. She explained why she

enjoys being in Chang’s classes.

“He’s a lot of fun in class,” Behan said. “He really encourages

all of us to take it to another level. He wants us to have more

expression and to always be dancing, rather than just

watching.”

When asked what he saw himself doing in the future, Chang did

not have any specific plans come immediately to mind.

“I’d like to do something I enjoy, which is dance. It’s very

simple,” Chang said. He then added, “I’d really like to help

students to continue their professional careers in dance.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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