Peggy Choy

Associate Professor

(608) 262-6644

B125 Lathrop Hall

1050 University Ave

Madison, WI 53706-1304

Choy, Peggy

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Peggy Choy (MFA, MS, MA) is Associate Professor of Dance & Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches courses including, Asian American Movement and Afro-Asian Improv: From Hip-Hop to Martial Arts Fusion.

Choy is a dancer, choreographer, and artistic director of Peggy Choy Dance, and founder of The Ki Project, Inc., supporting creative thinking and intercultural performance for future generations. She has devoted some 50 years to the research, performance and teaching of Korean and Javanese dance forms. Choy is a certified teacher of Dayan (Wild Goose) Qigong, and creator of Ki-Flow™ dance technique.

Peggy Choy Dance investigates Afro Asian dance intersections with an ensemble of diverse dancers that focuses on BIPOC and women’s stories, and calls for environmental and social justice through revolutionary transformation. Choy’s New York premieres include “Seung Hwa: Rape/Race/Rage/Revolution”, “THE GREATEST! Hip Dance Homage to Muhammad Ali”, “THIRST” and “FLIGHT”.

Choy is the author of “Anatomy of a Dancer: Place, Lineage and Liberation” (2008), “Return the Islands Back to the People: A Legacy of Struggle and Resistance in Ka Pae‘āina” (2000), and “Dancing Outside the American Dream: History and Politics of Asian Dance in America” (2000).

The Washington Post describes Choy’s performances as dances that “…juxtapose the contemporary and the timeless”. Lynn Colburn Shapiro, a writer for Dance Magazine, describes Choy’s dance: “Her mesmerizing solo performance…transmitted emotional depth and dramatic intensity with minimal movement, every gesture, every breath fine-tuned and focused. The utter clarity of a raised knee, a flexed foot, or undulating arms was quite wondrous and took on a heightened importance in her purposeful execution of the sculpted phrases.”


  • MFA Dance, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2006
  • MS Urban & Regional Planning, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1983
  • MA South & Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 1981

Select Creative Works

  • Choy, Peggy, "FLIGHT: torn like a rose," Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts, Brooklyn, NY. (October 20, 2019 - October 22, 2019). Media Link
  • Choy, Peggy (Choreographer), "Mirror Butterfly: The Migrant Movement Liberation Suite," Afro Yaqui Music Collective, Kennedy Center, Millenium Stage, Washington, DC. (November 23, 2018). Media Link
  • Choy, Peggy, "Chant of the Heart/Blood Series 2," Song Feng-Yun, 2018, Prague, Czech Republic. (February 23, 2018).
  • Choy, Peggy, "Water Warriors, Like Water," Peggy Choy Dance Company, 2013 Dumbo Dance Festival, John Ryan Theater, Brooklyn, NY. (September 27, 2013).
  • Choy, Peggy, "THE GREATEST! Hip Dance Homage to Muhammad Ali," Peggy Choy Dance, Gleason's Gym, Brooklyn, NY. (May 13, 2013 - May 14, 2013).
  • Choy, Peggy, "Jayeonoei Han/Nature's Grief," Kintari Dance Company, Baráčnická Rychta Theater, Prague, Czech Republic. (November 27, 2012).
  • Choy, Peggy, "Blood at the Root", "Will 'n' Skill", "By Any Means Necessary," Peggy Choy Dance, 9th International Urban Movement Festival: Breakin' the Law Style Def9ned, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Madison, WI. (May 12, 2012).
    Excerpts from “THE GREATEST! Hip Dance Homage to Muhammad Ali”
  • Choy, Peggy (Performer), "Haenyeo/Sea Woman," CoolNY Dance Festival, Brooklyn, NY, USA. (February 3, 2012 - February 4, 2012).
  • Choy, Peggy, "Wigioei Bada/The Endangered Sea," Seoul Selection, Koreanisches Kulturzentrum Berlin (Korean Cultural Center Berlin), Berlin, Germany. (October 17, 2011).
    Solo inspired by the environmental degradation of the sea off the coast of Jeju Island, Korea that the women divers (haenyeo) are dependent upon for their livelihood.
  • Choy, Peggy, "THE GREATEST! Hip Homage to Muhammad Ali," Dance New Amsterdam, New York, New York, USA. (January 1, 2011 - September 10, 2011).

Select Media Contributions

  • Scott Gordon, Tone, A new multimedia work ties together themes of extraction, ancestry, and resistance. (June, 2020). Media Link
  • Heidi M. Pascual, Asian Wisconzine, The Perilous Journey for Perfect Love: Peggy Choy’s Flight: torn like a rose in Madison last October 31-Nov 1. (December, 2019). Media Link
  • Katie Reiser, Isthmus, Winged Magic: Peggy Choy’s ‘FLIGHT: torn like a rose’ animates a 12th century Sufi Poem. (November, 2019). Media Link
  • Samara Kalk Derby, Wisconsin State Journal, Sufi poem becomes challenging, diverse dance on UW stage. (October, 2019). Media Link
  • Benjamin Barson, Howlround Theatre Commons, Anticolonial Creative Collaboration and the Development of Mirror Butterfly. (August, 2019). Media Link
  • Rachmi Diyah Larasati, Journal of Asian Studies, The Dance That Makes You Vanish. (2018).
    Vol. 77, pp. 584-587
  • David Bernabo, Recital, Review: Afro Yaqui aims for a major statement with their new opera, Mirror Butterfly. (October, 2018). Media Link
  • David Bernabo, Recital, Drawing a Line from Climate to Migration through Revolutionary Performance. (September, 2018). Media Link
  • Andy Soth, PBS Wisconsin, The Greatest: A Dance Tribute to Muhammad Ali. (July, 2016). Media Link
  • Vasiliki Eugenis, Of Note Magazine, Peggy Choy: Water, Dance, and ‘Afro-Asian Futurism’. (June, 2016). Media Link

Select Publications

  • Choy, P. (2008). Anatomy of a Dancer: Place, Lineage and Liberation. In Candace Fujikane and J.Y. Okamura (Ed.), Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai‘i Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Choy, P. (2000). Dancing Outside the American Dream: History and Politics of Asian Dance in America. In Fred Ho with Carolyn Antonio, Diane Fujino, Steve Yip (Ed.), Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America Edinburgh: AK Press.
  • Choy, P. (2000). Return the Islands Back to the People: A Legacy of Struggle and Resistance in Ka Pae‘āina. In Fred Ho with Carolyn Antonio, Diane Fujino, Steve Yip (Ed.), Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America Edinburgh: AK Press.

Select Presentations

  • Choy, P. (2020, July). Contested Homes: Migrant Liberation Movement Suite. Performance presented at the Live-stream video premiere (Choreography), Division of the Arts, UW-Madison, Madison, WI.
  • Choy, P. (2015, April - 2015, April). Wild Rice", "Instantly from Far Away", "Improvisation No. 2"; "Beyond Walls. Performance presented at the XX Encuentro Internacional de Danza en Paisajes Urbanos “Habana Vieja: Ciudad en Movimiento/Old Havana: City in Motion”, 20th International Dance Festival in Urban Landscapes, Danza Teatro Retazos, Havana, Cuba.
  • Choy, P., & Ozuzu, O. (2014, October - 2014, October). Walk the River", "Glow in Deep Darkness" (dancer), "Wild Rice", "Ocean Woman" and "Cup of Water. Performance presented at the Ocean - Mouth – River: Explorations in Afro-Asian Futurism, Links Hall, Chicago, IL.
  • Choy, P. (2013, April - 2013, April). THE GREATEST! Hip Dance Homage to Muhammad Ali. Performance presented at the Site-specific premiere, Gleason’s Gym, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Choy, P. (2012, September). By Any Means Necessary. Performance presented at the American Dance Guild Festival, Ailey City Group Theater, New York City, NY.
  • Choy, P. (2012, May - 2012, May). By Any Means Necessary", "Power On. Performance presented at the Dancing Divas/La Mama Moves! Dance Festival, La Mama Experimental Theater Club, New York City, NY.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Opening Performance, UW/Native Nations Summit on Environment and Health, "Wild Rice", Fluno Center, 2015
  • Keynote Performance/Peggy Choy Dance Company, 9th International Festival of Urban Movement: Breakin’ the Law Style Defined University of Wisconsin-Madison, dance excerpts from “THE GREATEST! Hip Homage to Muhammad Ali”, 2012
  • Outstanding Women of Color Award, Vice-Provost for Diversity & Climate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009