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Friday, February 21, 2020



The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, a renowned international touring dance company led by Chinese American choreographer Nai-Ni Chen, announces an exciting 2019-2020 season. The Company will continue to be in residence at the New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ with extensive community activities including dance curriculum planning, teaching, rehearsing, research, and choreography. The company is especially proud of its award winning program at the A. Harry Moore School for children with multiple disabilities where Nai-Ni Chen’s dancers collaborate with therapists and teachers to create a uniquely creative dance curriculum for a population of 100 students from pre-K to 12th grade.

The fall touring season will begin with tours to Michigan and New Mexico to present Nai-Ni Chen’s most recent collaboration: A Quest for Freedom, with the world-renowned Ahn Trio, inspired by the hope and energy on the immigrant’s journey, as well as Nai-Ni and the Trio’s common experience as Asian American immigrants.

In December, the Company will launch its 30th anniversary celebration at New York Live Arts with a retrospective production CrossCurrent, showcasing Chen’s distinctive cross-cultural style and the diverse influences that have informed her work. Highlights include Chen’s Callligraphy II, Whirlwind, and recent works Truthbound and Bamboo Rap.

The program will open with one of Chen’s earliest signature work Calligraphy IIwhich explores the spirituality, the flow of energy and the dynamics of the brush strokes in the art of Chinese writing with an original music score by Joan La Barbra and set designed by Myunghee Cho. The Company will share Nai Ni’s recent work Truthbound, developed in a residency in Trier, Germany in reaction to the crisis of faith and trust today.

Truthbound will be followed by Bamboo Rap, an experimental work created in collaboration with traditional Kuaiban rappers, hip-hop artists and DJs, exploring the sound of Chinese language with contemporary urban dance vocabulary, both rooted in storytelling and the desire for justice.

The concert will conclude with Whirlwind, a dance inspired by Chen’s journey to the Silk Road with music by Glen Velez. The dance explores trance, rhythmic breathing, sound and spiral motion.

In January and February 2019, to chase away the winter blues, the Company will celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Rat and the first year of the cycle of metal with a vibrant, colorful extravaganza of the Company’s Lunar New Year Festival at Staten Island College, Queens College, The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Long Island, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Ocean County College in New Jersey. This New Year’s program highlights will include a diverse line up of top-tier Chinese artists as well as new dances by Nai-Ni Chen.

The season will continue in March with appearances by up-and-coming Asian American artists at the Company’s resident work at Flushing Townhall. In its 6th year, the Company has been presenting new music and dance talents in the community.

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will be on Ellis Island in the Great Hall of Immigrant for the Asian American Heritage Month in May. The Company will be presenting the 6th Imagine Ellis Island Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Festival which will bring together a diverse array of artists focused on preserving and creating culturally specific work.

Followers and audience can gain an early glimpse of the Company’s new works during our open rehearsal sessions ,at Flushing Town Hall in New York, at NJPAC in Newark, as well as at pop-up locations around the NY/NJ area to be announced on our e-newsletter.

In addition to developing new dances, Nai-Ni Chen is equally committed to introduce the Chinese American heritage to children and family in diverse communities. Her K-12 assembly program, The Art of Chinese Dance, is performed throughout the year in schools and community centers in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Continuing its commitment to preserve and advance dance in the Chinese American community in New Jersey, the Company offers regularly scheduled community workshops at the Metuchen Dance Centre every Saturday with award-winning instructors from China, Taiwan, and the U.S.

Season Highlights:
A Quest for Freedom at Hope College
Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 7:30
Friday, September 20, 2019 at 7:30pm
DeWitt and Cultural Center, Main Theatre
141 E 12th St., Holland, MI 49423
See below for ticketing information:

A Quest for Freedom at The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 7:30pm
211 San Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM 87501
See below for ticketing information:
CrossCurrent at New York Live Arts
219 W. 19th St.
New York, NY 10011
Friday, December 5 at 7:30
Saturday, December 6 at 7:30
Sunday, December 7 at 7:30
Ticket info: TBA

Chinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Golden Rat at NJPAC
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 2:00pm and Sunday, January 26 at 2:00pm
One Center Street Newark, NJ 07102
See below for ticketing information:

Penn State Harrisburg Concert and Residency
Tuesday, February 4th at 7:30pm
Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre, Student Enrichment Center
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057
More information:

South Orange Performing Arts Center Showcase
Friday, April 17 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ 07079
Ticket info TBA

Song of the Phoenix at Westchester Community College
Saturday, May 9 at 8:00pm Academic Arts Theatre
75 Grasslands Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
See below for ticketing information:

Nai Ni Chen

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