(NEW YORK, NY) -- Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will perform with Les Ballet Afrik and Ayodele Casel at Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage in a co-presentation with ALL ARTS on Friday, July 15, 2022 at 6:00pm at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens. SummerStage is New York City’s beloved, FREE outdoor performing arts festival.
Raindrops; Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen; Dancers: Greta Campo, Rio Kikuchi, Namhui Kim, Candice Jarvis; Music: Henry Wolff, Nancy Henning, Robert Rich, Sainkho Namtchylak; Costumes: Olu-Orondava. “Raindrops” draws inspiration from the choreographer’s childhood memory of Keelong, the city where she was born. The city is also known as the “Rain Harbor” in Taiwan.
Whirlwind; Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen; Dancers: Greta Campo, Candace Jarvis, Rio Kikuchi, Sonny Shiu, Evan Matthew Stewart, Jainil Mehta, Namhui Kim; Music: Glen Velez; Musicians on the recording: Glen Velez and the Ta Ka Di Mi Project; Costumes: Anna-Alisa Belous. A whirlwind is a phenomenon in the desert caused by the air coming from the mountains to the desert plain in different directions. “Whirlwind” explores trance, rhythmic breathing, sound, and spiral motion that the choreographer experienced on her journey through the Silk Road. Some of the movement ideas came from her visit to XingJiang and her encounter with Uyghur dance.
Choreographer/Dancer Nai-Ni Chen (1958-2021) was a unique artist whose work crosses many cultural boundaries. Each of her dances reflect her personal vision as an immigrant and an American female artist with deep roots in the Asian culture. From this very personal perspective, she created new works that reflect current issues with global influences. Some of her works were developed in collaboration with renowned artists such as the Ahn Trio, Glen Velez, Joan La Barbara, Jason Kao Hwang, Tao Chen, Tan Dun and the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York.
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 Company has 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 presented at international festivals including Open Look Festival in Russia, the Silesian International Contemporary Dance Festival, 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 disabilities.
Programs of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company are made possible by the generous support of our Board members, the National Endowment for the Arts, 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 Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund administered by the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, E.J. Grassman Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, New Music USA, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund, the Rapid Response Program of 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 and the Dragon and Phoenix Foundation.
At City Parks Foundation, we are dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community building, and education programs for all New Yorkers. Our programs -- located in hundreds of parks, recreation centers, and public schools across New York City -- reach thousands of people each year. Our ethos is simple: thriving parks mean thriving communities.
Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage is one of New York’s most beloved, broadly accessible, free outdoor performing arts festivals. SummerStage presents free concerts in parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances in genres that represent the cultural fabric of New York City ranging from jazz, hip hop, Latin, global, indie, and contemporary dance, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. In 2020, Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Anywhere was launched in response to the global pandemic, presenting free digital performances, spanning all genres, available to viewers around the world.
PHOTO: Raindrops by Chris Nicodemo