A special work-in-progress featuring the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and the New Asia Chamber Music Society
After extensive New York and New Jersey touring of the Company’s Chinese Lunar New Year of the Sheep production, Company members shed their colorful silk costumes of Chinese folk dances and return to simple jersey leotards and tights of modern dance to work on their next new piece to be showcased at Flushing Town Hall in the center of Queens, New York, on March 22, 2015, at 3pm. Ticket price is $15 for General Admission, $10 for Students & Members, .
CrossCurrent is a concept that Nai-Ni Chen developed while working with the music of composer Huang Ruo. Examining their experiences as bi-cultural artists living in the United States, Nai-Ni Chen observed that the journey to adapt to a different culture is long and full of joy and struggle. CrossCurrent is a series of dances that communicates the journey of her cross-cultural experience, both physical and emotional. It involves a change of perception and a change of expectation. The dances she is creating attempt to communicate that delicate path that she and others are crossing every day. For this project, Nai-Ni Chen is partnering with a group of young musicians, the New Asia Chamber Music Society, and she is currently working with award-winning composer Huang Ruo. In the Flushing Town Hall program, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and the New Asia Chamber Music Society will showcase the following works.
Signature to Nai-Ni Chen’s cross-cultural style is the fusion of movement and choreographic vocabularies from different cultures. The new work, Whirlwind, showcases that unique style. Whirlwind is a phenomenon in the desert caused by the air coming from the mountains to the plain in different directions. This dance takes inspiration from the choreographer’s travels on the Silk Road which passes through Central Asia, connecting China to Europe, crossing many deserts and mountains where whirlwinds have a powerful presence.
Nai-Ni Chen has choreographed this work to Huang Ruo’s music of the same title. Calligraffiti contrasts the bold and colorful stroke of graffiti that we observe on the walls of subway cars and abandoned buildings with the monochromatic, elegant and graceful lines of ancient Chinese calligraphy, which are prized possessions of homes, galleries and museums in the Chinese society. Calligraffiti is thus a fusion of the dynamic, free American and the refined elegant Chinese styles.
Immigrants often dream of their homeland, and Nai-Ni Chen often does. Growing up in Taiwan’s famous rain harbor, Nai-Ni Chen remembers her joyous childhood where she and her friends played in the rain and celebrated when the sun came out. She hopes this dance brings the same joy to the audience.
Three Pieces for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky
Musicians: New Asia Chamber Music Society
After the program, the Choreographer and the Musicians will conduct a discussion session with the audience.
About 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 a vital resource of culture in the eastern United States. Thousands of audiences are transported 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. Beyond the US homeland, the Company has performed in Central/South America, Asia and Europe.
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NJSCA/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the NEA; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the NJ Cultural Trust; the Hyde and Watson Foundation; the E.J. Grassman Trust; the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and others. For additional formation, visit www.nainichen.org.
About New Asia Chamber Music Society
Propelled by a shared passion for classical chamber music and profound respect for the works written by the composers of our time, the New Asia Chamber Music Society was founded in 2010 by an idealistic group of young Asian-American virtuosi, graduated from America’s most prestigious music schools, including The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute. Based in New York City, NACMS is committed to bringing audiences exceptional performances of the finest works of chamber music, drawn from the canon of western music as well as contemporary Asian culture. This unusual young collective also seeks to reach out to its technologically-wired peers around the world, through the creation of innovative new work in future partnership with other arts organizations.
The New Asia Chamber Music Society gave their sold out inaugural performance at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 2011, and have since then performed regularly throughout New York City at venues including Queens Museum, Flushing Town Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Taiwan Center, Chelsea Museum, Taipei Culture and Economic Center of New York. They have also recently been invited to perform at Delaware Center of Contemporary Arts, and had their first performance at Carnegie's Zankel Hall. Website: newasiacms.org.
Nai-Ni Chen Choreographer / Artistic Director comes from a rich dance tradition. She served on several ambassadorial culture missions for Taiwan to nineteen countries around the world. An early member of the Cloud Gate Dance Theater, she graduated from the Chinese Cultural University and came to America to seek her own voice in the world of dance. Since starting her Company, she has created a wide-ranging repertory, from dances that originated thousands of years ago to highly abstract, modern works. The inspiration for her dances often comes from the poetic motion of the Chinese painting brush, folk rituals and ceremonies, and phenomena of nature. Winning acclaim worldwide, Ms. Chen has received a two years Choreographer’s Fellowship from the NEA. She is also a three times recipient of the Choreographer’s Fellowship from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For her contribution to the community, she has won awards from NJ International Institute, OCA/NJ, NJ Chinese American Chamber of Commerce among others. Ms. Chen is currently an Adjunct faculty at New Jersey City University.
Huang Ruo Composer, “one of the most intriguing of the new crop of Asian-American composers.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese folk, Western avant-garde, rock and jazz to create a seamless, organic integration. Ensembles who have premiered and performed his music include the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Asko Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, Quatuor Diotima, and Dutch Vocal Laboratory.. Huang Ruo has received awards and grants from the ASCAP Foundation, Presser Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Argosy Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, Meet The Composer, NYSCA, Chamber Music America, American Music Center, Aaron Copland Award, and Alice M. Ditson Award. Huang Ruo’s film credits include soundtracks for Jian-Fu Garden and Stand Up. The latter was recently named the Official Selection for the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the Atlanta International Film Festival.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Andy Chiang