Winter 2021 Residency Artists

Bahiya Movement

Bahiya Movement was founded in 2011 by mother/daughter, Afia and Nafi Thompson. Bahiya means Beautiful, and their motto is “Dance from the heart and make beautiful movement.” Bahiya is an African Modern Jazz fusion dance company with a mission to provide a welcoming, safe, creative space for diverse artists through their Believe In Self (BIS) emerging artists mentorship program and GLO artist showcase, leadership and skill-building programs. Their vision is to cross and break barriers regarding body image and low self-esteem through the art of dance. Bahiya believes that your artistry should not be defined by your race, gender nor your body size; rather, creativity, technique, passion, determinations and love should define your artistry. They are dedicated to developing and giving back to all communities, with emphasis in BIPOC communities.

Through the residency Bahiya Movement created the dance film Abacus, exploring the body’s response to trauma and challenges brought about by recovery. 

Cynthia Ling Lee

Cynthia Ling Lee instigates postcolonial, queer, and feminist-of-color interventions in the field of Asian diasporic performance.  Committed to intimate collaborative processes and foregrounding marginalized voices and aesthetics, her interdisciplinary performance work has been presented at venues such as Dance Theater Workshop (New York), East West Players (Los Angeles), Taman Ismail Marzuki (Jakarta), and Chandra-Mandapa: Spaces (Chennai).  Cynthia was the recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, an Asia-Pacific Performing Arts Exchange Fellowship, a NET/TEN grant, a CounterPulse Performing Diaspora Residency, and a Hellman Fellowship.  Influential teachers and mentors include Simone Forti, Eiko & Koma, Judy Mitoma, Pallabi Chakravorty, Bandana Sen, Kumudini Lakhia, Anjani Ambegaokar, and the contact improvisation community. Recent publications include a chapter in The Routledge Companion to Dance Studies (2019) and co-written chapters with Sandra Chatterjee in Dance Matters Too: Markets, Memories, Identities (2018) and Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (2017). Cynthia is an associate professor of dance in the Department of Theater Arts at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the Post Natyam Collective, a transnational, web-based coalition of dance artists whose work triangulates between art-making, activism, and theory. More information can be found on her website

During the residency, she created Grief Rituals/Somatic Scores for Living During a Pandemic, in which she explored participatory structures that create intimacy, invite somatic embodiment, and offer communal rituals for processing grief and trauma.

Check out excerpts from the culminating performance to see how the artists developed their work through the Residency.  


The Studio 210 Residency is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.  Learn more at