Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company announces new additions, works, and collaborations for 2023/2024 season
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is commencing a new season with fresh commissioned works, collaborations, and the addition of new dancers following their recent performances in Seattle, WA, and Tennessee. New dancers joining the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company include: Caleb Baker, Alexzander Larson, Ke’ala O’Connell, and YuChin (KiKi) Tseng.
As one of the leading Asian American professional dance companies in the United States, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is committed to creating works that reflect the immigrant experience and perspectives. Nai-Ni Chen collaborates with both emerging and traditional dance choreographers within the Chinese American community, fostering a deeper understanding by bridging cultural boundaries. In 2022, with support from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the Company commissioned “Lion in the City,” a collaboration featuring Hip-Hop legend Rokafella, Kwikstep, and Lion Dance master Henry Lee, working alongside renowned dancer/choreographer PeiJu Chien-Pott.
For the 2023-2024 season, with support from NJPAC, the Company is commissioning two new works. The first from a unique creative team, including choreographer Aloe Ao Liu and digital media artists Anna Borou Yu and Jiajian Min, collaborating to develop a new work titled “Reincarnation.” This piece draws inspiration from Aloe’s experiences living among the indigenous community of the Derung Tribe, also known as the Dragon People, in the mountains of Yunnan Province, Southwestern China. Isolated from urban centers, the Derung Tribe has its own language and unique religion, known as Derung shamanism. This indigenous group has a deep connection to their natural surroundings, with their way of life intrinsically tied to their mountainous environment. “Reincarnation” expresses Aloe’s awe for life, death, the unknown, and the unknowable.
In “Reincarnation,” Aloe collaborates with media artists Anna Borou Yu and Jiajian Min, both members of the New Museum’s cultural incubator, NEW INC, aimed at advancing technology in the arts. The artists will create a multimedia stage design that reflects the culture and spiritual essence of the new work.
In addition to “Reincarnation,” the Company is also commissioning a traditional Mongolian dance titled “Mongolian Festival.” Choreographed by Mongolian dancer/choreographer Lawrence Jin, who has been a member of the world-renowned Bella Lewitzky Dance Theatre and China’s Beijing Academy Dance Company, this dance is renowned for its powerful steps and expressive upper body movements, capturing the essence of the nomadic way of life. Jin grew up in inner Mongolia, China. In this dance, he focuses on the generous spirit of the Mongolian people, the powerful Mongolian warriors and the respect they have for the great prairie that is essential for the nomadic life. This culturally rich and dynamic performance will be accompanied by traditional Mongolian music, creating a captivating and immersive experience for the audience.
Both of these new works will premiere in New Jersey at the NJ Performing Arts Center, and in New York City at the Kupferberg Center in Queens College and at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. They will also be showcased in the McLean Community Center in the Washington DC area, as well as the Omaha Performing Arts Center, in Nebraska.
For additional information about Nai Ni Chen’s 2023-2024 season, visit www.nainichen.org