As a native Taiwanese woman who came to the U.S. to seek more opportunity, education and artistic development, Sandra Parks’ research and artistic interest focus on two major elements: the inner self and connection of the individual to the world. As the current dance field has been evolving from the conventional work to more eccentric ideas, Sandra believes her artistic work and research can contribute to its continuous development. As most artists do, she questions her identity through her artistic work and how her work can relate to her experience, which is a unique combination of Chinese culture and her personal journey in the U.S. She also questions how her background can relate to others in the world. To expand the idea of relating one culture to another, she began to ask how each dance could be influenced by other dances.
She believes in the importance of looking back at the history in order to move forward. Therefore, she focused on how dance was developed throughout history; how Chinese philosophy has influenced many artists, including herself; how her upbringing as a Taiwanese female has helped shape her aesthetic; how she has been merging different life experiences together into her work. A few major ideas discovered through this process were: 1) the importance of cultivating oneself through different mediums, 2) the awareness of others, 3) the connections between oneself to others. She began working with the idea of inner cultivation through creating movements from her heritage, diverse dance trainings, and personal experience. She also worked with the ideas of selfness within the whole and connecting her personal journey to my work. She has created works that reflected the Chinese aesthetic and philosophy that inspire her as an artist and person, and she continues to find new interpretations of Chinese culture to motivate her creative process.
Lately, Sandra has begun investigating how her work can shape the future of dance, and since the establishment of her organization, Women in Dance L.L.C., Sandra has developed more interest in questioning gender equality as well as culture appreciation.