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Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company to Receive $10K Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company to Receive $10K Grant  from the National Endowment for the Arts

(FORT LEE, NJ) -- Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has been approved for a $10,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the Company's  Year of the Golden Ox Celebration. This project will provide the necessary funding support to make this year's festival possible and allowing the Company to bring some of the leading Asian American Artists together virtually.  The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category. 

"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from [The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company," said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. "The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year." 

"Funding from the National Endowment is critical to the our production of this Year of the Golden Ox celebration, allowing us to bring the best quality program to communities across America" says Nai-Ni Chen, the Artistic Director.  

For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

To date, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has  announced a series of  events for a colorful and vibrant special Chinese New Year Celebration of the Golden Ox online.  Audiences can register at the Company's website on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 11, 12, 13 2021.  An one-hour special celebration that highlights the Company's repertory and guest artist's past notable performances will be featured Thursday night at 7:30PM. Three one-hour sessions will be offered on the following 2 days: 11:30AM, 3:30PM and 7:30PM.    

The New York metropolitan area audiences have made the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company event an annual tradition in the past 20 years when the Company's productions were presented on the mainstage of NJPAC, Queens College, Brooklyn College and Staten Island.  This year, because of the pandemic and closure of the stages, this program will be virtual and will enjoy the support of the professional stages across the country.  In the NY Metro area, partners presenting the program includes Kupferberg Center of Queens College and the Brooklyn Public Library; in New Jersey, the Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College; in Chicago, Illinois, the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, at College of Lake County, Lone Tree Arts Center in Lone Tree, Colorado, and the Chandler Arts Center in Chandler, Arizona.  


This special online virtual presentation will include the works of the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, the Renaissance Chinese Opera Society, World renowned, Guinesses World Record toe tip Acrobat Lina Liu, Master Balancing Acrobat Yang XiaoDi, Kuaiban Artist XingYe Ma, Kunqu actor Yaozhong Zhang, Yonghong Jia, Yi Chuan Yan, and others.  Highlights of the program include the spectacular Dragon Dance, Lion Dance, and colorful folk dances such as the Coinstick Dance and Peacock Dance from Yunnan and YungGe from Central China.  The New York  Chinese Music Ensemble brings amazing  instrumental music featuring Erhu, Ruan , Pipa, and the ancient Sheng, a reed instrument.  The Renaissance Chinese Opera Society will showcase two legendary operas from their repertoire, Stealing the Magical Herb from the Tale of the White Serpent, and the Exodus of Wang Zhaojun.  Besides dance and music, the program also include Chinese Variety Acts including Chinese acrobatics featuring the amazing Master Balance Acrobat Yang XiaoDi who was a member of the Big Apple Circus and the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, and Lina Liu, world record holder of the number of umbrellas balanced on her toe tio.  Master Kuaiban ( a form of rap originated over 200 years ago in Beijing) artist, fast-talking rapper Ma XingYe will showcase his extraordinary, mind-boggling skill of uttering 160 words per minute. 

After the online performance viewing, the audience are invited to engage the artists live via chat to discuss the life of the artists and the music and dance they saw.  The audience engagement portion will also be hosted by Asian American artists and organizers including violinist Jason Kao Hwang, Dancer/Choreographer Kerry Lee, Chien-Yu Tsui, Zhongmei Li, and Lisa Gold of the Asian American Arts Alliance.  Besides these artists, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company dancers will also be present. 

The program aims to highlight the beauty, creativity and diversity in Chinese-American community by showcasing some of the most respected artists who are advancing and preserving the classical and folk traditions in America. It will be an eye-opening, informative and entertaining experience for audiences at any age.

To join the celebration online, the audience can register on the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company website.  The cost of the program is free, recommended donation starts at $10.  Contribution of more than $10 will receive additional rewards.   

According to the Chinese calendar, family and friends should expect 12 months of joyful abundance in the Year of the Golden Ox. People born in the Year of the Ox are strong, reliable, fair and conscientious, inspiring confidence in others. They are also calm, patient, methodical and can be trusted.   This lively performance to mark the beginning of the year will warm the hearts and delight the senses of audiences of all ages, providing the necessary relief from the pandemic lockdown. 

About the 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 one of the most visible Asian American dance companies in America.  Ms. Chen's unique choreography transports audiences beyond cultural boundaries to the common ground between tradition and innovation, rising beyond form into the spirit. 

One of the few Asian American professional dance companies with an extensive season of touring and performing around the world, Nai-Ni Chen has also developed Arts in Education residency programs in school districts to bring culture and arts into educational settings.  Its colorful and engaging programs and workshops have reached over one million young audience members in the NY/NJ area. The Company is currently in residence at New Jersey City University and has been a Principal Affiliate of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center since its inception.


The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has the honor of having received more than fifteen awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous Citations of Excellence and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF),  the New Jersey Cultural Trust, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  Additional funding for the company have come from: the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, DanceNYC Dance Advancement Fund,  the Hyde and Watson Foundation, E.J. Grassman Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, New Music USA, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, American Dance Abroad, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' Cultural Exchange Fund, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, PSEG, Proskauer, WAC Lighting and the Glow Foundation. 

originally published: 02/09/2021

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