About Kun-Yang Lin

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Bienczyzi

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Bienczyzi

KUN-YANG LIN (Executive Artistic Director & Founder of CHI MAC) views dance as his first language. Raised in a home where his parents never spoke the same language, Lin learned to communicate most articulately through gesture and action. Many other tensions in his life have shaped Lin’s artistry — he was raised in the faith of his father (Catholicism) in an environment steeped in the traditions of his mother (Buddhism and Taoism), and he navigates life as an Eastern immigrant in a Western society. Lin is deeply invested in the dialogues between innovation and tradition, the individual and the collective, the visible and invisible — “in-between spaces” that he finds to be fertile ground for exploration.

Among the primary impulses nourishing Lin’s artistry are Buddhist and Taoist world views and the internal energetic flows of many Eastern arts he had practiced over the years including tai chi, martial arts, chi gong, calligraphy, meditation and Chinese opera movement. These impulses are filtered through his extensive training and performance experience across a broad range of contemporary dance techniques and improvisation practices and framed by Lin’s ongoing cross-cultural research in dance as a medium for the integration of body, spirit and mind.

After receiving his BFA from Taiwan National University of the Arts, Lin accepted a fellowship to the Laban Centre in London and a position there with Transitions Dance Company. Following extensive international touring with Transitions, he came to New York in 1994 where he engaged in intensive study at the schools of Graham, Limon, Cunningham and Movement Research. Over the course of 10 years, Lin performed in the companies of many iconic American choreographers, including Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Anna Sokolow and in the companies of Janis Brenner, Jennifer Muller, Kevin Wynn and “post-modernist” dance-makers, Lynn Shapiro and Paula Josa-Jones. In 1998, he formed his own company, KYL/D, to further develop his artistic vision. While in New York, Lin was recognized on multiple occasions by The New York Times, Back Stage and other notable publications for both his dancing and choreography. Lin was awarded a full fellowship to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, from which he received an MFA in 2003. That year, Temple University recruited Lin to teach and, in 2008, he relocated KYL/D from New York City to Philadelphia and established CHI Movement Arts Center (or “CHI MAC”) to build upon his practice-as-research, deepen his own artistry and advance conversations between the Temple campus and the communities of Philadelphia and beyond. Since 2008, Lin has developed a broad range of programming at CHI MAC for aspiring, professional dancers and community members, including the InHale Performance Series for emerging and established dance artists.

In 2009, Lin was named by the Painted Bride Art Center an “Artist of the City” for his outstanding contributions to the arts and culture of Philadelphia. In 2010, the Mayor of Hsin-Chu honored him as a “Pride of the City” for his cultivation of artistic excellence at the international level and in 2011 he was named one of Philadelphia's “Creative Connectors.” Recently, Lin was selected by NBC News— from a pool of over 1,600 nominees nationwide— as one of 30 LGBTQ leaders for NBC’s inaugural Pride Month list of “change makers, innovators and rising stars.”

Lin’s choreography has been commissioned by numerous companies including Dance Ensemble Singapore, Ballet Nacional de Mexico, Ballet Philippines and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance.

"Supreme dedication, discipline, and artistry...he is someone who can give us not only excellent body dancing, but the richness of mind and soul revealed through dancing" - Sara Stackhouse, Rehearsal director of Limón Dance Company

"Kun-Yang Lin is a dancer and choreographer of exceptional talent coupled with great sensitivity and passion." - the late Mary Anthony, former Artistic Director of Mary Anthony Dance Theatre