Grant Recipients Viola Farber Award Dance 2024

Hsiao-Jou Tang

Hsiao-Jou sits on the wooden floor in the corner of a rehearsal space with an open white door behind her and blue padded panel walls to her right. Her body faces the camera, knees are up with her bare feet in front of her, her elbows are braced on her knees and her hands cradle her face on each side. Face tilted slightly up, she smiles into the camera. She wears a blue, brown and pink plaid button up shirt and black sweatpants with blue racing stripes.
Photo by Chanel Stone.
  • 2024 Viola Farber Award
  • Dance
  • Dancer, Performer
  • Born 1986, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Lives in New York, NY
  • She/Her


Hsiao-Jou Tang was born and raised in Taiwan where she studied ballet, modern and traditional Chinese dance, and Tai Chi before moving to New York to continue her training. Recognized for the beauty and technical precision of her performances, she is also known for her ability to take creative risks that contribute to the development of choreography.  Tang adapts to different styles and traditions of dance, while simultaneously being faithful to her own background and training. She received her B.F.A. in Dance from SUNY Purchase in 2008.

Tang has collaborated with multiple companies and choreographers. She performed Many Happy Returns with Monica Bill Barnes & Company at The Space at Irondale in Brooklyn, NY (2023), The myth of forward motion (or, The Box Dance) with 2nd Best Dance Company at Gibney 280 Broadway in New York, NY (2023), and Movement with Netta Yerushalmy at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ (2022). In 2023, she also worked with Joanna Kotze, Stacy Spence, Annie-B Parson, Donna Uchizono, Tendayi Kuumba, and Xan Burley + Alex Springer. 

She was a company member of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion (2010-2012) and Doug Varone and Dancers (2012-2019), during which time she performed domestically and internationally at venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music: BAM, Lincoln Center, and The Joyce theater, among others. Through Varone, Tang was the Cultural Ambassador with DanceMotion USA (2013) and was funded by the United States Department of State to tour to Peru, Argentina, and Paraguay. Also as a member of Doug Varone and Dancers, she taught and re-staged several works at universities throughout the United States. By the end of her tenure with the company she was the company’s Rehearsal Director (2017-2019). 

Two performers dance in the middle of a space decorated for a party. The two dancers are centered in the frame, both facing the left and standing in jumping jack positions with their feet wide apart and arms raised, their heads are turned to look at the camera. Hsiao-Jou Tang dances on the left half of the frame with a smile on her face, gazing above the camera and making snaps with her hands. She is wearing a blue and white flannel button up, black sweatpants with blue stripes above the cuffs, and white sneakers. Monica Bill Barnes dances on the right of the frame, also gazing upwards. She is wearing a white sleeveless blouse with a lace front, black high-waisted pants, and black sneakers.

Performance still from Many Happy Returns, Monica Bill Barnes & Co., at The Space at Irondale, Brooklyn, 2023. Performers: Hsiao-Jou Tang and Monica Bill Barnes. Photo by Paula Lobo.

Four performers wearing colorful, cone-shaped party hats stand in a line in various poses in a room decorated for a party. The dancer on the far left, Mykel Marai Nairne, is posed throwing fake punches. Next to her, Monical Bill Barnes is leaning back and averting her face from the camera. Flannery Gregg, on the right half of the frame, stands with her right hand raised to touch her temple, and her left hanging by her side. On the far right, Hsiao-Jou Tang stands with her head tilted back and chin pushed out, gazing out to the right. Her shoulders are leaned back as her arms are curved and rolling in front of her, hands in fists.

Performance still from Many Happy Returns, Monica Bill Barnes & Co., at The Space at Irondale, Brooklyn, 2023. Performers: Mykel Marai Nairne, Monica Bill Barnes, Flannery Gregg, and Hsiao-Jou Tang. Photo by Paula Lobo.

Three performers dance on a black stage, centered in a vertical line and illuminated from the sides. Hsiao-Jou Tang stands closest to the audience, she faces left and lunges over with her elbows resting on her bent knee. She gazes towards the camera and is wearing a loose orange, longsleeved blouse. Directly behind her, Julia Foulkes is dressed in black and sits on a stool, bending backwards to face the camera. Michael Blake straddles over Foulkes' hips, his torso leans forward over hers and his left arm extends out to reach toward the camera. He stares forward with furrowed brows, wearing orange pants and a sleeveless orange top.

Performance still from Paramodernities, Netta Yerushalmy, at NCCAkron, Ohio, 2018. Performers: Hsiao-Jou Tang, Julia Foulkes, Michael Blake. Photo by Andrew Spear.

Two performers dance on a stage awash in deep blue light, illuminted warmly from the sides. Hsiao-Jou Tang is centered in the frame with her body facing towards the left, kneeling on one knee with the other leg extended straight out to her side. Her torso is pitched forward and her arms are extended before her, palms touching as her fingertips touch the floor. Further back, to Tang's right, Alex Springer is posed also on one knee with his body and head facing away from the camera. His torso is leaned far to the right with his head almost touching the floor. Both are dressed in sheer white jumpsuits over black underclothing.

Performance still from ReComposed, Doug Varone and Dancers, BAM Harvey Theater, New York, 2017. Performer: Alex Springer and Hsiao-Jou Tang. Photo by Robert Altman.

Hsiao-Jou Tang is centered alone as she dances on a dark stage illuminated softly from above. She lays on her stomach with her head pointed to the left and her feet on the right half of the frame. Her head is twisted for face the camera, she looks out, blankly. Her left arm is extended straight back, hand reaching abover her with outstretched fingers. Her left leg is bent touching the floor, and her right leg is kicked straight out behind her. She is barefoot and dressed in a light grey, knitted sleeveless top and black pants with elastic cuffs.

Performance still from in the shelter of the fold, Doug Varone and Dancers, Bates Dance Festival, Maine, 2019. Photo by Jonathan Hsu.

Hsiao-Jou Tang is centered, dancing in a brightly lit, bare white room. She is bent forward as she steps, head tilted down, with her elbows raised by the sides of her head. She is wearing a long sleeved, loose white dress.

Performance still from for North, Xan Burley + Alex Springer, at Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn, 2016. Photo by Andrew Ribner.

Two performers stand centered in a warmly lit space. Visible from the hips up, Hsiao-Jou Tang stands in profile, turned toward the left and holds the hand of the other dancer, Hannah Garner, to her face. She is making a crying expression with her eyes closed, she is wearing a red, white and black plaid button up. Hannah Garner stands to Tang's right, behind her, body facing the camera. She gazes to the left with a blank expression as Tang holds her hand up. She is wearing a colorful, marble-patterned button up knotted at the waist.

Performance still from The myth of forward motion (or, The Box Dance), 2nd Best Dance Company, at Gibney 280 Broadway, New York, 2023. Performer: Hannah Garner and Hsiao-Jou Tang. Photo by Alice Chacon Photography.

Five performers dance in a line in a warmly-lit space, embracing each other and smiling as they gaze at the floor, all wearing patterned, colorful clothing. Hsiao-Jou is centered in the frame, she stands with her body facing the left, arms raised and holding the torso of another dancer facing her. Two dancers stand behind her on the right half of the frame, facing the same direction with their hands resting on the next's shoulders. Directly across from Tang on the left side of the frame are two dancers, both facing Tang with their hands on the person in front's shoulders or hips.

Performance still from The myth of forward motion (or, The Box Dance), 2nd Best Dance Company, at Gibney 280 Broadway, New York, 2023. Performer: Will Noling, Ryan Yamauchi, Hsiao-Jou Tang, Courtney Barth and Hannah Garner. Photo by Alice Chacon Photography.