Biography of Ming-Shen Ku

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An active dance teacher, choreographer and dancer, Ms. Ku was born and raised in Taiwan, the Republic of China. She started her early dance training in Ballet at the age of six, while her Modern Dance training began at the age of thirteen. She received her B.A. degree in dance from the Chinese Culture University and then became a dance instructor in Taiwan. Two years later she went to study in the United States where she earned an M.F.A. degree in dance from the University of Illinois. Since 1987, she has used Taiwan as a home base to create and present her works as well as engaging herself in teaching at several schools. In the meantime Ms. Ku has also been involved in many international performances within Europe, United States and Asia.

Ms. Ku sees her works as a combination of Western and Eastern cultures and dance styles, a result of her multiple backgrounds. In 1989, her work “Bamboo Grove” had been noted into Laban Natation while she was invited to set the piece at the University of Hawaii. After that this piece has been recontracted and performed by the University of Illinois, The University of Iowa, the Ohio State University, the Bunknell University and The National Institute of the Arts. Since 1990, Ms. Ku has also performed as a guest artist in the Purdue University, the University of Illnois, the University of Iowa, the Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota and the Nancy Hauser Dance Company as well.

Recognized nationally as an outstanding choreographer, Ms. Ku and her company have been commissioned by The National Theater in 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993. In 1990 to 1995, Ms. Ku had also worked on the project as a soloist which has brought her touring performance around United States, Europe and Hong Kong. During the time she was in Taiwan, Ms. Ku has also choreographed for the Dance Forum Taipei the Kaohsiung Contemporary Dance Company, the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and the Taipei crossover Dance Company. In 1991-1992, Ms. Ku had received the grant from the national Endowment of The Culture and Arts to study at the United States, in which she became deeply involved with Contact Improvisation.

After all, Ms. Ku has developed her own movement emphasis in teaching modern dance and improvisation. Currently she is a faculty at the National Institute of the Arts.

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