Rowena Richie and Jennifer Chien collaborate under the name richien. They have been challenging themselves and each other to push into new territories of performance work since 2011. They love research and learning, and delight in multidimensional layering of disciplines. With humor and tenderness, their work fuses dance, text, video and song to explore the contradictions and complexity of human nature. They also enjoy bad jokes.
Both have strong roots in the San Francisco dance and performance world, having collaborated with The Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, EmSpace Dance, and Chris Black, among others. Their work together draws from their varied backgrounds, which include theater, songwriting, drawing, video and radio production, and poetry. The more they mix mediums, the more similarities they find in the creative process.
They have received grants and awards from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, CounterPULSE, Moving Words, Million Fishes Art Collective, and are fiscally sponsored by Dancers' Group.
Jennifer Chien, born and raised in San Francisco, is a dancer, teacher, media maker and bodyworker. In San Francisco she has performed with ESP Project, STEAMROLLER, Jo Kreiter/Flyaway Productions, Joe Goode Performance Group, Chris Black, Fauxnique/Monique Jenkinson, Scott Wells, Hope Mohr, and Kathleen Hermesdorf/Albert Mathias. Her choreography has been shown at CounterPULSE, Asian American Dance Performances, Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory and CASA 0101 (Los Angeles). In addition to her activities in the arts community, she also teaches yoga and is a senior producer at KALW in San Francisco.
Rowena Richie came to San Francisco in 1993 after she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance, with an emphasis in choreography, from California State University, Long Beach and the University of Michigan. Rowena has been awarded grants by the Zellerbach Family Foundation and CA$H, as well as artist residencies to support her work. She holds a master's degree from New College of California in Creative Inquiry.