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PhD Student Receives Artist of Exceptional Merit Designation


The Asian American Arts Alliance (A4) announced in May that it had named Media, Culture, and Communication doctoral student Luna Beller-Tadiar a 2024 Jadin Wong Artist of Exceptional Merit.

This recognition is made in tribute to the life and work of Chinese American actress, dancer, and comedienne Jadin Wong (1913–2010) — "a pioneer and innovator of Asian American performing arts," writes A4.

Luna Beller-Tadiar (she/they) is a Manila-born, US-raised, queer mixed-Filipinx multi-media artist who works in choreography, video, text, and comics. Her work across artistic media investigates socio-historical forces at the level of the body, especially as they touch gender, colonialism, diaspora, and new media. Luna draws on an eclectic mix of movement education that includes capoeira, Argentine tango, Aikido, new media research, the study of gesture, and an ongoing investigation into embodied mimicry and malleability.

In pursuing a doctorate in Media, Culture, and Communication, Luna is researching the body as one of many media "platforms," focusing on the way kinesthetic forms constitute their own kind of knowledge and circulation.

Luna’s choreography-performance work has been twice supported by the Mark Morris Dance Center; the 92NY’s Future Dance Festival; American Dance Festival’s Movies by Movers film festival; in New Haven, Durham, NYC, Buenos Aires, and La Union (Philippines). Her video work has been exhibited in installation form at Duke; shown at CICA Museum; and featured in Alon: Journal for Filipinx American and Diasporic Studies. Her work with queer Argentine tango has received support from Yale; McGill; and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Watch video clips of Beller-Tadiar's work.

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