Featured 2017 Work: Edit
Uncanny Magazine: A Work of Art is a Refuge and Resistance (personal essay)
In college, I was the Asian American who was deemed “too white” for the Asian Americans; they said I listened to the wrong kind of music and faulted my inability to speak Chinese (long a casualty of the final international move). I’m the American—a naturalized citizen at sixteen—who’s too foreign for the Americans; when I leave Chicago, so many still ask me where I’m “from” and try to speak to me in the first Asian language that pops to mind. I’m the Singaporean who had to learn proper etiquette during every-few-years visits: Take your grandmother by the hand or elbow whenever she’s walking, put food on her plate from the shared dishes as a sign of care, call each relative at the table by name—in order of rank—and tell them to “eat” before starting yourself, lest you seem rude.
Like other third culture kids, I always feel like an outsider; I don’t fully belong anywhere.
Invisible 3: Of Asian-Americans and Bellydancing Wookiees (personal essay)
And now? I’m the bellydancer, firespinner, singer-songwriter, and nerd who designs and codes websites. I obsess with sparkles and sequins and makeup and then wrestle with merge conflicts in GitHub. I flirt with audiences and shimmy to Balkan brass bands and then debate backstage whether Daleks or Cylons would win in a fight. I sing 19th century French poetry layered on piano parts in 7/8 time inspired by traditional Chinese folk music, Americana, and jazz. I break stereotypes into tiny pieces and eat them like candy. I exist.
Other 2017 Related Work: Edit
The Learned Fangirl: Two Asian-American Women Discuss the Ghost in the Shell Movie (cultural critique)
The Learned Fangirl: Hold the #MartialArtsMayo: A Review of Netflix's Iron Fist (TV review podcast series)
Founder/Director of Raks Geek, geek-themed bellydance and fire performance (6 major live theatre productions in 2017)
Most artists work in a single discipline. Dawn Xiana Moon has worked professionally in almost all of them.
A seductive and passionate voice, evocative songwriting, and formal training make her one of the most distinctive Asian-American singers of her generation. The Singapore-born musician has performed in 10 states and released two solo albums; her latest CD, Spaces Between, fuses elements from traditional Chinese music with jazz and alt folk pop, resulting in a musical brew in French, English, and Mandarin Chinese that draws influences from sources as disparate as Han Dynasty literature and Americana.
As a dancer, she often takes a more lighthearted tone: Moon is the founder and producer/director of Raks Geek, a geek bellydance and fire performance company that has garnered notice nationally and internationally through their commitment to blend a high degree of artistic and technical mastery with fun, creativity, and themes from nerd culture. Raks Geek achieved internet notoriety with a video of a Wookiee bellydancing to a Klingon band playing an original song in Shyriiwook, which earned them a spot on UK Channel 4 TV's "50 Funniest Moments of 2012" and a proclamation from The Daily Mail that hailed the group as "Sci-fi seduction." Moon also performs in the US and Canada with Read My Hips tribal bellydance and Acrobatica Infiniti Circus.
In addition to her work as a dancer and musician, she has served as a section editor for RELEVANT Magazine, where she wrote cultural commentary on film, TV, and music; acted in theatre and independent films; designed graphics for Anheuser-Busch; and coded websites for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She has written for Uncanny Magazine, The Learned Fangirl, and was published in Invisible 3, an anthology of personal essays about SF/F.