Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company announces Schedule for The Bridge, Free One-Hour Company Classes on Zoom
Virtual Dance Institute
of boundary-breaking dance experiences
Free One-Hour Company Class on Zoom
Open to All Dancers at an Intermediate to
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has established a new dance institute through Zoom, The Bridge. The Institute’s aim is to bring together dancers, choreographers and directors around the world to experience the master teachers of color whose practices are embedded in the community and are focused on advancing the art of dance that transform the personal, environmental and metaphysical spaces.
dancers can join the class by registering on Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company’s
As a virtual dance institute, The Bridge will invite world renowned as well as up and coming dancers and choreographer to come to guest teach the class. Advanced/Intermediate level professional or pre-professional dancers who are looking to explore beyond their own boundaries and looking for new dance experiences are encouraged to participate. The core program is based on Nai-Ni Chen’s Kinetic Spiral, which is a cross-cultural dance vocabulary that integrates the Chinese martial arts philosophy in TaiChi with contemporary dance practices she studied in America. Guest artists will cover a wide range of folk and classical dance styles.
The Bridge will hold classes Monday-Thursday for the remainder of the summer due to the schedules of teachers and participants.
The Bridge Class schedule is as follows:
Week of 8/16/2021
Monday Yuka Notsuka (Kinetic
Spiral) at 11am
Akazawa-Smith (Modern) (Taylor Inspired) at 11am
Wednesday Nai-Ni Chen
(Kinetic Spiral) at 11am
Thursday Zhongmei Li
(Flow (Chinese Classical Dance) at 11am
Tap into the creative
energy of the universe through Kinetic Spiral. Nai-Ni Chen’s signature
technique is based on the principle of ever-changing universal forces of Yin
and Yang. Dance phrases from Nai-Ni Chen’s repertory will be taught.
About Rei Akazawa-Smith’s Modern
Join Rei Akazawa-Smith
for an exciting modern dance class. Rei has danced with the Paul Taylor Dance
Company as well as working with Mihi Orihara, HT Chen and others.
About Zhongmei Li’s Chinese Classical Dance
Zhongmei Li will teach
one of the most well known Chinese classical dance technique, the Duanghuang
technique based on contemporary interpretation of the movement of the painted
figures in the ancient caves of Duanhuang Grotto. The fantastic paintings in
the caves were created in the Tang Dynasty by Buddhist monks traveling on the
In this trying time of change and uncertainty, the arts is a source of healing and unity, we would like to encourage everyone to support dance as dance is an essential medicine for the society to recover from the pandemic that has caused injury to our bodies and our hearts. Support for The Bridge can be sent through https://nainichen.org/donate.
About the Artists
Rei Akazawa-Smith was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, where she began her ballet training in the technique of Royal Academy of Dance under the direction of Yuko Kojima. She graduated cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College, receiving the Gold Key for Excellence in 2009. While a student there, she assisted in teaching and demonstrating Graham Technique Master Classes for Miki Orihara and Alessandra Prosperi. She has danced with H.T. Chen and Dancers, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, and played the role of Eliza in The King and I at Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. She participated in The Taylor School Summer Intensive in 2012 and was asked to join Taylor 2 immediately afterward. Since joining the company, she has also appeared with Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Zhongmei Li began her dance training at the Beijing Dance Academy, China’s foremost dance institution, and continued in the U. S. winning full scholarships to study at both the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham schools. She performed on Broadway in the long-running musical “The King and I,” and she earned a master’s degree in fine arts at the Tisch School at New York University. In 1994, she created the Zhongmei Dance Company, with which she performed all over the United States. In addition, she has performed in many other countries, including Singapore, France, Israel, and Brazil. She is a regular guest performer with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Zhongmei’s story is available in a non-fiction book, A Girl Named Faithful Plum, by Richard Bernstein.
was born in Fukuoka, Japan, is a member of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. She began her Ballet training in her hometown at age four. Later she broadened her training to include Jazz and Tap. Later Yuka moved to New York City to further pursue her career as a dancer. In 2015 she entered the Ailey School as a scholarship student. She performed in Ailey Spirit Gala Concert at Lincoln Center choreographed by Tracy Inman (Co-Director, The Ailey School) and Robert Battle (Artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater). Yuka joined the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in 2017. She also has been in training and served as Teaching Assistant at the Luigi Jazz Dance Center under Francis J. Roach.
About Nai-Ni Chen
Hailed as a Spiritual
Choreographer by Dance Magazine and recipient of multiple choreographic
fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and New Jersey State
Council on the Arts, Nai-Ni Chen has been creating dances professionally
for over thirty years in the United States. She has built a diverse repertory
of over 80 original works and toured to major venues in the US and
international contemporary dance festivals in 12 countries. She will be
teaching her signature technique KINETIC SPIRAL which is a blend of the
dynamic, ever-evolving spirit of contemporary dance and the grace and splendor
of the Asian artistic traditions.
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
A blossom of color, energy and motion, “like endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy,” said The New York Times.