“What Could Be Better Than a Dance Party in the Name of Solidarity?”: ‘Dance for Ukraine’ at Studio 9 on Friday

by Brian Hioe

Photo Credit: Taiwan Stands with Ukraine

Brian Hioe spoke to Anna Luy Tan about ‘Dance For Ukraine’, an upcoming dance fundraiser for Ukrainian that will be held at Studio 9 in Ximen on Friday, starting at 11 PM. Anna will be DJing, along with DJ Monty, and a special guest. All proceeds from the door will go to Ukraine.

Brian Hioe:  Could you first introduce yourself for readers who might not know you?

Anna Luy Tan:  I’m Anna Luy Tan, a community organizer, filmmaker, and DJ from Chicago, now based in Taipei. As a person of both Ukrainian and Chinese heritage, it is truly a dream of mine to be a part of such a purposeful event. I am passionate about cultivating communities and building bridges of solidarity, and this unique dance party allows me to do just that. To me, these spaces are sacred and essential, and in the midst of a brutal and unjust war, I feel their function becomes more important than ever.

Photo credit: Taiwan Stands with Ukraine

BH:  How did the idea to do a benefit night for Ukraine start? Notably, this isn’t the first event that Taiwan Stands with Ukraine has done at Studio 9. Likewise, why specifically a dance party?

ALT:   When “Taiwan Stands with Ukraine” first started working with Studio 9, we learned that they were primarily a nightclub venue, but they didn’t have any open evening slots in December, so we opted to organize a daytime festival event. We thought that if it went well, we would love to do a proper party, to let people have some fun, dance, and raise money. People all over Ukraine dance and go to raves even today to relieve the stress and to hang on to their sanity during this horrible time. So eventually we found a date to make it happen!

BH:  What will funds raised for the event be donated to?

ALT:   We’re still figuring out the exact donation targets, but we’re looking to donate half of the funds to a children and families-focused organization, and the other half to an organization that helps defenders on the frontlines. All our donations go to causes sourced through our community, and the goal is to put the money to work quickly and very directly, and to always represent unity with Taiwan in the process.

Photo credit: Taiwan Stands with Ukraine

BH:  Could you talk a bit about the line-up? Who is scheduled to play?

ALT:  DJ Monty is a DJ, acrobat, and dancer from Mariupil. He has found his new home in Taiwan, and worked tirelessly to raise and distribute more than 1 million NTD to Mariupil residents feeling the horrors in the early months of the war. After DJ Monty, I will be playing from 1 AM to 3 AM. In my set, I aim to channel the idea that joy itself can be a powerful form of resistance and hope to leave the audience with a renewed sense of possibility for the future. And finally, Studio 9 has promised us an exciting secret guest to round out the lineup.

BH:  Anything else we should expect from the event?

ALT: We should expect to have a great mix of Ukrainian, European, and Taiwanese revelers, dancing for a good cause. What could be better than a dance party in the name of solidarity?