Three dancers performing against a blue background.

2022 Commission

Mei-Yin Ng

Oh No! Renegade

Friday, October 7
Saturday, October 8
Conwell Dance Theater

Inspired by TikTok, live performances combine with video to create a rich investigation of dance and technology, popular and fine art, intimate and public space. 

Performances feature Temple University Dance students joined by professional artists from MEI-BE WHATever dance company. 

About the Artist

Born in the backwater port town of Klang, Malaysia, Mei-Yin Ng was poised from birth to create art using the human body and technology. Her father, a car mechanic and local visionary, was the first Klang citizen to ever possess a film projector. With the advent of video, he then became the first Klanger to own a camcorder. As the 70s progressed in Southeast Asia, Ng often snuck into the family room at ungodly hours to watch American musicals on TV. Night after night, she became increasingly addicted to Fred Astaire, until desperate, she finally sought out videotapes of dance at the American Embassy. There, she happened upon tapes of Merce Cunningham’s work, and though she did not quite understand what was going on, she was hooked. Saving all her ringgits to study dance in America, she was soon on a one-way flight bound for New York City.

Since moving to NYC, Ng has studied primarily at the Merce Cunningham Studio, Trisha Brown Studio and Movement Research. She has worked with the contemporary theatre group Remote Control Productions/Michael Laub, touring in the 1996-97 production Planet Lulu in major festivals throughout Europe and Scandinavia. Dance Theatre Workshop presented her inaugural work Graffito (1997) at their Freshtracks series. Her full-evening performances were presented by the Joyce Soho (2000), Construction Company (2002, 2008), Tribeca Performance Arts Center (2007), PS122 (2001, 2004) and HERE (2014)

Focusing initially on modern movement as inner being, Ng’s work continues to evolve with the possibilities of contemporary technologies. Her extensive prop training in Chinese dance inspired her to meditate on the use of props, and later technology, as an extension of the human form. She founded MEI-BE WHATever in 2002 as a collective field for collaboration and experimentation of technology in just this vein. MEI-BE WHATever has performed at festivals, museums and theaters in U.S., Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

Ng has received commissioned from the Merseyside Dance Initiative (Liverpool, UK), Corpi Urbani Festival ( Genoa, Italy), Cityactivators (NYC, US), Dance New Amsterdam (NYC, US) and American Music Center (NYC, US). Ng was a selected participant in the Multimedia Forum of the Monaco Dance Forum (2004), the 5th Pointe to Point Asia-Europe Dance Forum (2007), Pointe to Point follow up project (2009), an artist in residence of the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (NYC, 2007), Dance New Amsterdam (NYC, 2009), HERE Arts Center (NYC, 2012-14), LMCC process space (NYC, 2013), Rosas/PART summer space (Belgium 2012) and Bogliasco Study center (Italy, 2014). Her dance film BOW has won Jury Prize for Best Dance Film at the Dance for the Camera Festival 2012. She is a recipient of Arts Connection’s Janklow Award (2011) for excellent in teaching artistry, Malaysia National department of Cultural and Arts’s development grant (2013), Bogliasco Fellowship (2014), NYSCA Individual Artist Grant (2009), and two Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography (2004) and Interdisciplinary work (2009).