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The Asian American Arts Alliance Announces the Recipient of the 2020 Jadin Wong Fellowship for Emerging Dance Artist

The Asian American Arts Alliance Announces the Recipient of the 2020 Jadin Wong Fellowship for Emerging Dance Artist

The Asian American Arts Alliance has announced the selection of Rohan Bhargava for its 2020 Jadin Wong Fellowship, which includes a $6,000 unrestricted cash award and eight months of professional development training and career support to foster the next milestone of Bhargava's artistic career.

Among this year's competitive applications, the review panel also created a special award, Artist of Exceptional Merit, to recognize Belinda Adam and the excellence of her work. This award provides one-on-one consultations with respected leaders in the dance field and ongoing engagement with A4.

As a tribute to the life and work of renowned Chinese American actress, dancer, and comedienne Jadin Wong (1913-2010), a pioneer and innovator of Asian American performing arts, the Jadin Wong Fellowship is awarded to an early-career, New York City-based Asian American dance artist whose work shows outstanding promise and who may benefit from further professional artistic development. This award is made possible by the Jadin Wong Educational Fund at the New York Community Trust, established to continue her dream of supporting aspiring artists, musicians, and dancers of Asian descent.

The 2020 Jadin Wong review panel was composed of the following esteemed leaders in the field of dance: Phil Chan, Co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface; Jessica Chen, Choreographer and Artistic Director of J CHEN PROJECT; Jesse Obremski, Dancer, Choreographer, and Founder of Obremski/Works and former Jadin Wong Fellow; and Minila Shah, Choreographer and Founder of Ajna Dance Company.

Reflecting on Bhargava's application, panelist Jessica Chen said, "Bhargava is smart, savvy, and his choreographic work is bold and nuanced. He has great potential for a long term impact within the Asian American arts community here in New York City and beyond." Panelist Phil Chan added, "I love that Rohan is not only dedicated to exploring his own heritage and identity in his dance work, but also demonstrates a high level of curiosity and commitment to support other artists of Asian descent as collaborators. I look forward to seeing his work continue to develop, and for Rohan to step up as a leading creative voice in our community."

Highlighting a quote from Bhargava's application, "I wish to discover, reclaim, and celebrate my Indian heritage while tackling issues of misrepresentation, cultural appropriation, and racism in the 21st century," panelist Minila Shah emphasized the importance and timeliness of Bhargava's aspiration as an artist. Panelist Jesse Obremski concluded, "I am extremely proud of the collective decision to select Bhargava as the 2020 Jadin Wong Fellowship recipient. Bhargava's bold, wide-ranging, choreographic voice between Indian culture and contemporary dance is extremely intriguing and clear."

"On behalf of the A4 team, I am thrilled to administer this prestigious award in the memory of Jadin Wong," says Lisa Gold, A4's Executive Director. "Like Jadin, Rohan left his home to pursue a love of dance. And even at this early stage of his career, he is working to uplift other Asian American artists and push against societally imposed limits. It is my hope that Jadin would be proud of this year's fellow, as Rohan continues her legacy as both a brilliant dancer and choreographer and also as an inspiring community leader."

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