TICKETS: $17 and up.
To purchase, contact NJPAC at 1.888.GO.NJPAC/1.888.466.5722 or visit NJPAC.org/jazz.
The afternoon begins with demonstrations and fun activities staged in the lobby before the performance. Year of the Water Tiger celebration combines the elegance of traditional Asian art and the beauty of American modern dance with thrilling choreography, exotic music and dazzling acrobats. Audiences get close to the exciting sights of dancing lions and dragons, the lilting sound of Chinese pipa and erhu, and vibrant gold and red costumes and props.
On stage, the first part of the program starts with one of the most popular dances performed in the Chinese New Year, Double Lions Welcome Spring and the most colorful Chinese traditional dances in the repertory, Festival and Dragon Dance. Sandwiched between is one of Na-Ni Chen’s most iconic dances, Raindrops, which takes the audience to the choreographer’s childhood. To express the Company’s hope for the next generation, Company Director Ying Shi brings Green Lotus by eight junior dancers from her academy.
In the second half of the program, the dancers of Nai-Ni Chen pay tribute to the grace and power of Nai-Ni Chen’s work by performing her signature work, Incense. Making its NJPAC debut is the chamber music ensemble, Ahn Trio. Hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “exacting and exciting musicians,” the three sisters (pianist Lucia, violinist Angella, and cellist Maria) have earned a distinguished reputation for embracing 21st century classical music with their unique style and innovative collaborations. A longtime collaborator of Nai-Ni Chen, the Ahn Trio will play Ave Maria by Bach; Concrete Stream with music composed by Kenji Bunch, their first collaboration with Nai-Ni Chen, and Skylife, one of their signature works.
The program ends with UNITY, one of Nai-Ni Chen’s final work, completed by PeiJu Chien-Pott, the Company’s current Director of New and Creative Dance who worked with composer Jason Kao Hwang to finalize the powerful work that is Nai-Ni Chen’s urgent call to the world.
About Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
“Like endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy”... The New York Times
“Chen's phrases, part exoskeletal rigidity, part boneless grace, embodied an epic dignity.” —Village Voice
Bridging the grace of Asian elegance and American dynamism, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is a premier provider of innovative cultural experiences that reflect the inspiring hope and energy of the immigrant's journey. The company's ground-breaking works have focused on themes from ancient legends that reflect issues of the present time to purely abstract, contemporary dances influenced by a mix of cultures Nai-Ni Chen experienced in New York. An Asian American company that celebrates cross-cultural experience, the Company's productions naturally bring forth issues of identity, authenticity, and equality. The Company’s repertory is based on the works of its recently passed founder, Choreographer/Dancer, Nai-Ni Chen who is a unique artist whose work crosses cultural boundaries. Each of her dances reflect her personal vision as an immigrant and an American female artist with deep roots in the Asian culture. From this very personal perspective, she creates new works that reflect current issues with global influences. Director of Contemporary/Creative Dance, PeiJu Chien-Pott.
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has received more than 20 awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous Citations of Excellence and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Advancing Dance Education, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is currently in residence in New Jersey City University pioneering a program with the University's A Harry Moore Laboratory School teaching dance to urban children with disabilities. For additional Company information, visit their website, www.nainichen.org; write to Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, P.O. Box 1121, Fort Lee, NJ 07024; or call (800) 650- 0246.
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The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.
Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has served more than 10 million visitors (including over 1.9 million students and families) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.