Flushing Town Hall & Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York
In collaboration with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
on Sunday, March 5 at 1:00 pm
with 3 outstanding American Immigrant Dance Artists from Taiwan
Direction, Choreography & Costume: Kun-Yang Lin
KYL/D’s Dance Artists: Weiwei Ma, Liu Mo
Sound Design & Original Music: Cory Neale
Additional Music: Al Bowlly, Helen Jane Long, Hilary Hahn, Bonobo, Ryoji Ikeda, Goldmund
Set constructing and Lighting: Ash Umhey
Theatrical Consultant: David O’Connor
Rehearsal Assistants: Lingyuan Maggie Zhao (Rehearsal Director) & Evalina Carbonell
Research Assistants: Nancy Watterson, Ph.D., Belle Alvarez & Rev. Ken Metzner
Tickets for CrossCurrent IV are available online at www.flushingtownhall.org or by phone at 718-463-7700 x 220. Programs are subject to change, but the inspiration will prevail. Stay after the performance and learn more about the arts and artists.
This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the new “Teen Access Program”, all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.
(Flushing, N.Y.) – Flushing Town Hall (FTH) and Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York are pleased to collaborate with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company to present an unprecedented lineup in CrossCurrent IV, featuring the 3 outstanding dance artists – Nai-Ni Chen, Kun-Yang Lin, and PeiJu Chien-Pott – on Sunday, March 5th at 1 PM. A panel discussion moderated by Susan Yu, Director of Taipei Cultural Center and Andy Chiang, Executive Director of Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, will follow the one-hour performance.
“We are excited to see the stardom-like lineup of Nai-Ni, Kun-Yang and PeiJu, who are unquestionably among the leading forces of modern dance field in New York and across the country,” says Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. “We are especially delighted to witness this combination because it represents the quality and passion our immigrant artists can bring to our community.”
NAI-NI CHEN established her company in 1988 and has since grown to be one of the most widely toured and presented Asian American dance companies in the United States, with 16 awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, 8 tours abroad and over 30 national tours, reaching 40 states in America. Her works have been commissioned by the Joyce Theatre Foundation, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the New Jersey Ballet, Ballet Met and Dancing Wheels. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is currently in residence at the New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ. Well known for her collaboration with renowned composers such as Tan Dun, Jason Kao Hwang, Joan La Barbara, Huang Ruo and Glen Velez, Nai-Ni Chen started the CrossCurrent series at Flushing Town Hall 3 years ago featuring various collaborative works with artists from around the world. She is honored to be able to work with TECONY to expand CrossCurrent to include her fellow dance artists from Taiwan.
KUN-YANG LIN, founding Artistic Director of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (“KYLD”) & Co-Founder of KYL/D’s CHI Movement Arts Center in Philadelphia, is a Taiwan-born artist-educator who dances in the spaces between East and West, the visible and invisible, innovation and tradition, the individual and collective. Among the primary impulses nourishing his artistry are Buddhist and Taoist world views and the internal energetic flows of many Eastern arts he has practiced over the years including tai chi, chi gong, calligraphy, meditation and Chinese opera movement. These experiences are filtered through extensive training and performance experience across a broad range of contemporary dance techniques and improvisation practices, framed by ongoing cross-cultural research in dance as a medium for the integration of body, spirit and mind. Lin’s journey as an immigrant navigates tensions between his traditional roots, his contemporary interests and his embodied research, which informs his view of dance as a calling that transcends labels, shapes and movement.
PEIJU CHIEN-POTT is one of the most internationally celebrated contemporary dancers. Known for her appearance as a Principal dancer for the internationally renowned dance company, the Martha Graham Dance Company. Ms. Chien-Pott has been discribed as “the most dramatically daring and physically chameleon-esque Graham dancer of her generation.” by New York dance critic. Ms. Chien-Pott is originally from Taiwan. She started her dance training in classical ballet and Chinese dance at age 10 and was a member of the leading competition dance group in her home town. In 2008, Ms. Chien-Pott was awarded a Merce Cunningham Studio Merit Scholarship and studied the technique personally with Merce Cunningham. The same year, she was invited to perform with Buglisi Dance Theatre and Korhan Basaran and Artists. The following year, she became a member of the Nimbus Dance Works, the renowned dance company based in Jersey City where she has performed lead roles in work by numerous artists. Ms. Chien-Pott has also served as a teaching artist for the School of Nimbus Dance Works and the public schools in Jersey City. In 2011, Ms. Chien-Pott joined the Martha Graham Dance Company as an apprentice, and soon, she was promoted to a principal dancer in 2014. She is featured in new work created on her by Nacho Duato, Andonis Foniadakis and Mats Ek. Ms. Chien-Pott is honored with the POSITANO PREMIA LA DANZA “LEONIDE MASSINE” 2014 for “Most Outstanding Female Dancer on the Contemporary Scene” and named one of the “Best Performers of the Year” by Wendy Perron of the Dance Magazine. Ms. Chien-Pott was one of the honorees of the “Women’s History Month” 2014 in Hudson County.
More about Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
“Like endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy” – New York Times
The dances of Nai-Ni Chen fuse the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art. The Company’s productions take the audience beyond cultural boundaries to where tradition meets innovation and freedom arises from discipline.
Choreographer/Dancer Nai-Ni Chen is an artist whose work defies categorization, as she is continually working on new ideas from influences around the world. Her mesmerizing and dramatic contemporary choreography has gained increasing recognition among domestic and international presenters and festivals. Recently, the Company was 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.
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 twenty national tours and seven 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 China International Dance Festival.
In CrossCurrent IV, Nai-Ni Chen will present two works: Richter and Way of Five – Earth. Choreographed by Niiijawon Matthews and performed by Greta Campo, Antonio Cangiano, Hannah Jew, Jerard Palazo, Bo Pang, and Patrick Piras, Richter is inspired by the composer’s ever changing display of an abstract environment of contrasting characters and ideas. Choreographed by Nai-Ni Chen with music by Gerald Chenoweth, lighting design by Carolyn Wong, Way of Five – Earth will be performed by 8 dancers: Greta Campo, Antonio Cangiano, Alessio Crognale, Candace Jarvis, Hannah Jew, Jerard Palazo, Bo Pang, and Patrick Piras. Way of Five – Earth is the result of Nai-Ni Chen’s third 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. Each element, as part of the forces of nature, creates another in harmony and destroys another in conflict. This exploration is focused on the element Earth.
More about Kun-Yang Lin / Dancers
“create and inhabit worlds of their own”- New York Times
“a ritualistic revelation, highlighting a common thread among immigrants; fear, displacement, hope, sadness, assimilation, and ownership of identity.” Gregory King for Dance Journal
Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers will bring two of the dancers, Liu Mo and Weiwei Ma, to presents excerpts of “Home/S. 9th St.,” a personal yet universal exploration of the immigrant journey, the discomfort of crossing borders and finding a new identity in America. HOME/S. 9th St. draws on the stories of residents along Philadelphia’s famed South 9th Street corridor, a magnet for immigrants over the years, as a metaphor for America’s diverse urban communities. As they developed a vision for “Home,” Artistic Director Kun-Yang Lin (himself a Taiwanese immigrant) and six members of the KYL/D ensemble (many of whom are foreign-born) conducted story circles with neighbors. Their creative information-gathering became a way to explore issues of social import, grapple with struggles for justice, and sow seeds for healing and community building through the arts. KYL/D commissioned Cory Neale to design the sound score and compose some original music, which also includes abstract excerpts from their recorded interviews.
Hailed for its superbly trained dancers and inventive choreography, the internationally-active KYL/D probes at the limits of national identity. Drawing upon Eastern philosophies while expanding the perimeter of contemporary dance, Artistic Director Lin’s zen-inspired practice of dance manifests in lush works of poetic sensibility that The New York Times says “create and inhabit worlds of their own.” Lin draws upon multicultural insights from his ongoing research throughout Asia, creating a personal movement language that is an unexpected hybrid between Western and Eastern cultures, suffused with strong spiritual underpinnings.
KYL/D has performed around the world, including at the Tanzmesse International Dance Festival (Dusseldorf), Busan International Dance Festival (Korea), Jogia International and AsiaTri festivals (Indonesia), Festival Internacional de Danza in Queretaro (Mexico), Victoria Theatre (Singapore), HsinChu Performing Arts Center (Taiwan).
In the U.S., KYL/D has performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, Interlochen Festival, Columbia Festival, Kaatsbaan International Dance, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Dancing in the Streets Festival, the Painted Bride Art Center, the Annenberg Center, the Kimmel Center, the Forrest Theater, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation Museum, and Philadelphia’s City Hall.
Before moving to the U.S in 1994, Lin toured internationally with London’s Transitions Dance Company, working with numerous post-modernist choreographers. In the U.S., Lin performed in iconic American modern dance companies including the Martha Graham Company and worked with post-modernist choreographers including Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, Lynn Shapiro & Paula Josa-Jones. He has been called “an extraordinary dancer” (New York Times), “theatrical visionary…outstanding choreographer and compelling performer” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Lin has been on the faculty of The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, H.B. Actor’s Studio, Peridance International Dance Center and the Limon Institute and he offers master classes and workshops throughout the U.S. and abroad including Mexico, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Korea, Cambodia, and Taiwan. Currently, Lin is Professor of Dance at Temple University’s Center for the Arts. Lin received his MFA from New York University’s Tisch School and his BFA from Taiwan National University of the Arts.
For more information please visit: www.kyld.org
Excerpts of HOME/S. 9th St. (2015)
Referencing immigrant journeys, the meaning of “home” and notions of “American-ness”, HOME/S. 9th St., is informed in part by the stories of residents living along Philadelphia’s famously diverse South 9th Street corridor, where KYL/D’s dance center is located. As they developed a vision for HOME, Artistic Director Kun-Yang Lin and KYL/D’s dance artists (many of whom are immigrants themselves) conducted story circles and interviews with neighbors. Their creative information-gathering became a way to explore issues of social import, grapple with struggles for justice, and sow seeds for healing and community building through the arts.
More about Pei-Ju Chien-Pott
One of the most internationally celebrated contemporary dancers, Ms. Chien-Pott has performed major roles in Martha Graham’s iconic ballet including Chronicle, Cave of the Heart, Clytemnestra, Night Journey, Errand into the Maze, Rite of Spring, Lamentation and others. She has also created lead roles in works by Nacho Duato, Andonis Foniadakis and Mats Ek. Ms. Chien-Pott has been described as “the most dramatically daring and physically chameleon-esque Graham dancer of her generation.” by New York dance critic.
Ms. Chien-Pott is originally from Taiwan. At age 15, she was one of the top five dancers in the country chosen to join the seven years dance educational program at the prestigious arts university, Taipei National University of the Arts. During the school years, Ms. Chein-Pott was invited to perform with the Taipei Crossover Dance Company as the leading female dancer in the year’s new production and with the Taipei Royal Ballet. After receiving the BFA in Dance from the school, she was continuing performing internationally with the Taipei Crossover Dance Company as a leading dancer. Besides performing on the stage, Ms. Chien-Pott has been collaborating with renowned photographers including Lois Greenfield, Hibbard Hash, Paul B Goode, Tullio Fortuna, NYCDanceProject and others. Her images have appeared in major media and magazines including NY Times, Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit and others.
Ekstasis Reimagined (2017)
Virginie Mecene’s meticulous research uncovered Martha Graham’s Ekstasis. Re-imagined by Mecene for PeiJu Chien-Pott, this piece will be performed to haunting new music by Spanish composer Ramon Humet. In Ekstasis, Graham discovered, for herself, the relationship between hip and shoulder as she experimented with the thrust gesture of her pelvis. Ekstasis Reimagined follows the same idea and explores “a circle of distortion” that brings us to our core where ancestral memories dwell. Ramon Humet’s haunting music, based on the poetry by Mario Lucarda, evokes the same ideas. The dance and the music, working side by side, bring us to the moment, to the core of our own being.