Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company to be presented in The Jamaica Dance Festival 2023
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. https://thejamaicadancefestival.com/.
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.
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 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. 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. 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 this work.
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.
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.
For additional Company information, visit www.nainichen.org