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Nai-Ni Chen Dance
Company is pleased to
announce its participation in The Jamaica Dance Festival 2023,
presented by A Better Jamaica, on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 7:00 at Rufus
King Park in Jamaica, Queens.
The presentation is
the Company’s third time returning to the festival to meet the diverse
audience members of the Jamaica community. The Jamaica Dance Festival was
the first to invite the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company during the pandemic when
only outdoor performances were possible.
The Company will
show the following iconic works by the late choreographer Nai-Ni Chen (1959-2021).
Raindrop- One of Nai-Ni Chen’s most well-known dances. The
choreographer draws inspiration from her childhood memory of the Taiwanese
city in which she was born, Keelung, also known as the Rain Harbor.
Crosscurrent - a duet in which the physical tension between
the dancers reflects the meeting of two cultures. Like two rapid streams
flow together, there is tension, but also sparkles and splashes, creating
passion and strength of this dialogue. This tension abates as rival
currents begin to mingle, and a new vision emerges from harmony and love.
Peacock Dance - There are more than 55 ethnic groups living
in China, and each group has unique dances and music. The peacock is
considered a sacred bird among the Dai people in the Yunnan province.
Because of the performers’ supreme grace and elegance as peacocks, this
dance is one of the most beautiful from that province. Many of the
movements in this piece derive from real actions of the peacock, such as
drinking water, walking, running, and grooming its feathers. The solo
musical instrument for this dance: hulusi was originally used primarily in
Yunnan province by the Dai and other non-Han ethnic groups but is now
played throughout China. The hulusi has a very pure, clarinet-like sound.
The Way of Fire - An exploration of the ancient Chinese
theory that the cycles of creation and destruction correspond to the
ever-changing phenomena of nature. The “Five” refers to the five elements:
wood, water, fire, metal, and earth. The cycles are also used to mark the
passage of time. For instance, this year is the year of the Water Tiger.
Each element, as part of the forces of nature, creates another in harmony
and destroys another in conflict. This exploration focuses on the element
of “Fire”, which is used to extract metal, and can be destroyed by water.
Neptune’s Dialog (1993) - One of Nai-Ni Chen’s personal
favorite dances, Neptune’s Dialog was created in memory of her
childhood. She grew up in Keelung, Taiwan. The beautiful rain harbor is
close to one of the island’s most scenic beaches, YehLiu (Wild Willow)
Beach/Park in Taiwan. The white sand beach is dotted with a unique
geological feature, the world's only remaining mushroom (xun) stone
landform. It is a magical place to which she hopes to bring the audience in
About the Nai-Ni
Chen Dance Company
Bringing the dynamic
freedom of American modern dance together with the elegant splendor of
Asian art, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is one of the most visible Asian
American dance companies in America. Bessie award winning choreographer
Chen's unique choreography transports audiences beyond cultural boundaries
to the common ground between tradition and innovation, discipline and
freedom, and form and spirit.
Since its inception
in 1988, the company has earned a broad base of public support and has
toured extensively to major performing arts centers throughout more than
thirty states. Presented by some of the most prestigious concert halls in
the United States, from the Joyce Theater in New York to the Ordway Center
in Minnesota and the Cerritos Center in California, the Company has mounted
more than twenty national tours and nine tours abroad. Ms. Chen’s work has
been presented by such acclaimed international festivals as the Silesian
International Contemporary Dance Festival and the Konfrontations International
Dance Festival, both in Poland, the Chang Mu International Arts Festival in
Korea and the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival. The Company was
also honored by a distinctive grant award from both the President's
Committee on Arts and Humanities and the Department of State to represent
the United States in a seven-city tour arranged by the Tamaulipas
International Arts Festival in Mexico. Also, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
has the unique honor of having received more than fifteen awards from the
National Endowment for the Arts and numerous Citations of Excellence and
grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
In addition to its
extensive season of touring and performing, the company has developed Arts
in Education residency programs in school districts to bring culture and
arts into educational settings. It’s colorful and engaging in-school
assembly program “The Art of Chinese Dance” has been presented in hundreds
of schools in NJ, NY, CT and PA, reaching hundreds of thousands of youth.
The Company is currently in-residence at New Jersey City University and
assisting NJCU in the development of a new BFA in Dance.
Programs of the
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company are made possible by the generous support of our
Board members, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State
Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National
Endowment for the Arts, The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF), the New
Jersey Cultural Trust, the New York State Council on the Arts with the
support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, The
New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund administered by the Princeton
Area Community Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Hyde and
Watson Foundation, E.J. Grassman Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New
Jersey, New Music USA, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation,
Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund, the Rapid Response Program of American
Dance Abroad, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Cultural
Exchange Fund, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, PSEG,
Proskauer, WAC Lighting, and the Glow Foundation and the Dragon and Phoenix
Company information, visit our website, www.nainichen.org; write to Nai-Ni Chen
Dance Company, P.O. Box 1121, Fort Lee, NJ 07024; or call (800) 650-0246.