(BETHLEHEM, PA) -- The Zoellner Center for the Arts will showcase a groundbreaking collaboration of two legendary dance troupe: Full Circle Productions headed by renowned hip-hop master choreographers Kwikstep and Rokafella, and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, led by choreographer Nai-Ni Chen.
In the midst of the pandemic, the choreographers got together with dancers with PPE protection, worked together in NYC to develop a fusion of movements that explores the cross-cultural connections between hip-hop, martial arts and contemporary dance. The result is the first 10 minutes of a new production called Dragon Cipher.
On September 9, 2021 at 11:30am, in front of the Zoellner Center of the Arts at Lehigh University, Nai-Ni Chen, Kwikstep and Rokafella will be leading their dancers in an outdoor, work-in-progress showing of Dragon Cypher, offering a glimpse of this exciting new work in development, aiming to reflect the solidarity and mutual support of the Black and Asian community since the beginning of hip-hop culture to the days of COVID-19 pandemic.
Bridging the grace of Asian elegance and American dynamism, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is a premier provider of innovative cultural experiences that reflect the inspiring hope and energy of the immigrant's journey. The company's ground-breaking works have focused on themes from ancient legends that reflect issues of the present time to purely abstract, contemporary dances influenced by a mix of cultures Nai-Ni Chen experienced in New York. An Asian American company that celebrates cross-cultural experience, the Company's productions naturally bring forth issues of identity, authenticity, and equality.
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has been presented at some of the most prestigious concert halls such as the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center in New York, and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Florida. The company appears annually at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Queens College, the College of Staten Island and on Ellis Island. Internationally, the Company has been presented by international festivals including Open Look Festival in Russia, the Silesian International Contemporary Dance Festival and the Konfrontations International Festival in Poland, the Chang Mu International Dance Festival in Korea, the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival in China, and the Tamaulipas International Arts Festival in Mexico.
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has received more than 20 awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous Citations of Excellence and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Advancing Dance Education, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is currently in residence in New Jersey City University pioneering a program with the University's A Harry Moore Laboratory School teaching dance to urban children with multiple disabilities.
Full Circle Production (FCP) was formed with a vision to preserve and embrace NYC Hip-hop culture as it evolves onstage, in a cypha, in a classroom and in your heart! Inspired by the street and brought into theaters, Full Circle offers a complete spectrum of Hip-Hop Culture that is approachable and straight-from-the-heart. It is our desire to inform the world that Hip-hop is deeper than what the popular media portrays. It's about real people, striving to change, grow and move past systematic limitations using the power of creativity. We are inspired by legendary musicians and artistic / civic leaders of the past and present day. MC'ing (Rap), Beatboxing, DJing, Aerosol Art, and Hip hop dancing have all crossed language and distance barriers very much like Hip hop's predecessors Jazz, Tap, Salsa and Rock. At a time when Hip-Hop is seen as a commercial vehicle in the mainstream, our goal is to uplift the Cultural value of Hip hop as a positive expression via workshops, dance based events, film screenings and performances. FCP share our passion, experience and wisdom with everyone on and off stage, local and internationally. We believe dedication can help overcome the challenges of life and in so doing establish an intangible form of dignity, ownership and self love.