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 Post subject: NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY: Year of the Rooster at NJPAC
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:34 am 
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NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY:
Year of the Rooster
to be performed at NJPAC
January 28 & 29, 2017 at 2pm

The critically acclaimed Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company presents Year of the Rooster at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on January 28 & 29, 2017 at 2pm. This award-winning event brings audiences close to one of the world’s most celebrated festivals: China’s Spring Festival. Year of the Rooster features the exciting sights of dancing lions and dragons, the lilting sound of Chinese pipa and erhu, and vibrant gold and red costumes and props. A delight for the entire family, the Year of the Rooster combines the elegance of traditional Asian art and the beauty of American modern dance with thrilling choreography, exotic music and dazzling acrobats. Enjoy demonstrations and fun activities staged in the lobby before the performance. NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ 07102. Tickets are $20-$50 and can be purchased at http://www.njpac.org/events/detail/year ... ce-company.

The program will include:

Double Lions Welcoming Spring
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen; Music and Costume: Chinese Folk; Lighting Design: Tony Marques; Dancers: Antonio Cangiano, Alessio Crognale, Jerard Palazo, Patrick Piras, Ying Shi, Yao-Zhong Zhang
As one of the most popular dances performed in the Chinese New Year Celebration, the Lion Dance is said to have originated in the Tang Dynasty 3,000 years ago. The Emperor would hold a festival where people dressed in costumes as one hundred kinds of animals-the lion being one of them. The Lion Dance is seen as a prayer of Nai-Ni Chen Youth Program Dancers peace. During the dance a child playfully leads a beast, symbolizing harmony on earth. That is why the Lion Dance is always performed in the beginning of the year. In this dance, acrobatic skills, coordination and concentration are critical. There are many styles of the Lion Dance in China. This is the Northern style.

Nai-Ni Chen Youth Program
(January 28)
I. My Little Flower Garden
Choreographed and Taught by Ying Shi
Dancers: Chen Chen, Ying Chow, Tingting He, Patricia Huang, Naomi Kuo, Meryl Li, Alissa Liu, Angelina Wang, Emily Wei
II. Miao Ethnic Dance
Choreographed and Taught by Min Zhou
Dancers: Sophie Chang, Fannie Cheng, Madeline Huang, Amanda Lee, Jessica Lee, Emilie Pons, Chara Wang, Sophie Wang, Annie Yu
III. Sword Dance
Choreographed and Taught by Nai-Ni Chen
Dancers: Joanne Chen, Vicky Cheng, Tsan Kenneth He, Alice Huang, Michelle Huang, Gabbie Liu, Joy Lu, Grace Shan, Melanie Tsai, Selena Wang, Cayla Xue, Brittany Yee
(January 29)
I. Ribbon Dance
Choreographed and Taught by Ying Shi
Dancers: Tianlai Huang, Sarah Liu, Karina Yuan, Yiva Yuan, Jin Zhang, Mary Zhang
II. On the Horizon (Mongolian Folk Dance)
Choreographed and Taught by Ying Shi
Dancers: Kelly Cheng, Victoria He, Michelle Huang, Arioce Liang, Billie Liang, Celina Lin, Yin-Ni Lin, Celena Lu, Tiffany Mei, Janna Wang, Jessica Wang, Emily Yap
III. Sword Dance
Choreographed and Taught by Nai-Ni Chen
Dancers: Joanne Chen, Vicky Cheng, Tsan Kenneth He, Alice Huang, Michelle Huang, Gabbie Liu, Joy Lu, Grace Shan, Melanie Tsai, Selena Wang, Cayla Xue, Brittany Yee

Way of Five – Fire
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen; Music: Tan Dun; Costumes: Nai-Ni Chen; Lighting Design: Susan Summers
Dancers: Greta Campo, Candace Jarvis, Jerard Palazo, Bo Pang, Patrick Piras
This is Nai-Ni Chen’s first 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 is focus on the element of “Fire”.

The Flying Goddesses
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen; Music and Costume: Traditional; Lighting Design: Tony Marques;
Dancers: Ying Shi, Min Zhou
The Ribbon Dance can be traced back to the Han Dynasty in China over 2000 years ago. This dance is inspired by the flying goddesses painted on murals discovered in the caves in Dunhuang City. Dunhuang City is known as an important historical site from the fourth century when artists find sanctuary in the caves and created the art work based on the stories of Buddhism brought back from India through Silk Road. The ribbon symbolizes the wind, clouds and rainbow that move with the goddesses as they travel through the sky, spreading the blessing and power of healing to the suffering world.

Yung Ge-Harvest Dance
Choreography: Wei Chen; Music and Costumes: Traditional Folk; Lighting Design: Tony Marques
Dancers: Greta Campo, Antonio Cangiano, Alessio Crognale, Candace Jarvis, Hannah Jew, Jerard Palazo, Bo Pang
Yung Ge is one of the most popular folk dances of the Han people in Northeast China. During harvest time or the Lunar New Year celebration, villagers gather in the fields and dance with fans, handkerchiefs and drums to celebrate their year long hard work and to welcome the New Year. Their movements are very stylized and energetic and are usually performed to a repetitive drumbeat.

Peacocks Under the Moonlight
Choreographer: Nai-Ni Chen ; Assistant Choreographer: Min Zhou; Music: Dai Minority folk music;
Lighting Design: Susan Summers; Dancers: Bo Pang, Ying Shi, Min Zhou
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 solo musical instrument hulusi was originally used primarily in Yunnan province by the Dai and other non-Han ethnic groups but is now played throughout China. Like the related free reed pipe called bawu, the hulusi has a very pure, clarinet-like sound.

Way of Five – Earth
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen; Music: Gerald Chenoweth; Lighting Design: Carolyn Wong; Costumes: Nai-Ni Chen; Dancers: Greta Campo, Antonio Cangiano, Alessio Crognale, Candace Jarvis, Hannah Jew, Jerard Palazo, Bo Pang, Patrick Piras
This dance is the result of Nai-Ni Chen’s third 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 is focused on the element Earth.

Chinese Music Ensemble of New York
Sword Dance (Liuqin Solo)
Composer: Xu, Jian-Qiang; Musician: Yueqin Chen
The liuqin is a four-stringed Chinese mandolin with a pear-shaped body. It is small in size, almost a miniature copy of another Chinese plucked musical instrument, the pipa. The range of its voice is much higher than the pipa, and it has its own special place in Chinese music, whether in orchestral music or in solo pieces. This has been the result of a modernization in its usage in recent years, leading to a gradual elevation in status of the liuqin from an accompaniment instrument in folk Chinese opera, to an instrument well-appreciated for its unique tonal and acoustic qualities.

Camel Bells on the Silk Road (Ruan Solo)
Composer: Ning Yung; Musician: Yueqin Chen
The music depicts an ancient caravan with camels travelling through the Silk Road and the festivity when they arrive at their destination. The melody incorporates folk tunes from the Muslim minority living in the Xinjiang Province of China. The ruan (阮, pinyin: ruǎn) is a Chinese plucked string instrument which has over 2000 years of history. It is a lute with a fretted neck, a circular body, and four strings. Its four strings were formerly made of silk but since the 20th century they have been made of steel.

Dragon Dance
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen; Music: Peng Xiuwen & Cai Huiq; Lighting Design: Carrie Wood;
Dancers: Company
As the most spectacular folk dance performed in the Chinese New Year Celebration, Dragon Dance depicts a mythical animal, which symbolizes imperial power and nature’s grace. For those fortunate to see it in the Chinese New Year, prosperity and good fortune is ensured for the coming year.

This performance is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Music USA, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner of the National Endowment for the Arts, Department of the State.

ABOUT NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY
The dances of Nai-Ni Chen fuse the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art. The Company’s productions take the audience beyond cultural boundaries to where tradition meets innovation and freedom arises from discipline. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is a vital resource of culture in the eastern United States. Each year, thousands of audiences are transported beyond cultural boundaries to the common ground between tradition and innovation, discipline and freedom, and form and spirit. According to The New York Times, they "...essentially recreated nature..."

Choreographer and dancer Nai-Ni Chen is an artist whose work defies categorization, as she is continually working on new ideas from influences around the world. Her mesmerizing and dramatic contemporary choreography has gained increasing recognition among domestic and international presenters and festivals. Recently, the Company was honored by a distinctive grant award from both the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities and the Department of State to represent the United States in a seven-city tour arranged by the Tamaulipas International Arts Festival in Mexico.

Presented by some of the most prestigious concert halls in the United States, from the Joyce Theater in New York to the Ordway Center in Minnesota and the Cerritos Center in California, the Company has mounted twenty national tours and seven tours abroad.  Ms. Chen’s work has been presented by such acclaimed international festivals as the Silesian International Contemporary Dance Festival and the Konfrontations International Dance Festival, both in Poland, the Chang Mu International Arts Festival in Korea and the China International Dance Festival.

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company also has the unique 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. In the First China International Dance Festival in Kunming, Yunan, the China Dance Association presented to the Company its most prestigious honor for companies not based in China, the Golden Lotus Award.

The Company’s commissioned dances include American Landscape (New Jersey Performing Arts Center), Peach Flower Landscape (Lincoln Center Institute), Qian Kun (Joyce Theater), Tianji/Dragons on the Wall (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust), The Way of Five (Towson University) and Unfolding (Dancing in the Streets).

ABOUT NJPAC
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey - where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state's and the world's best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 10 million visitors (including over 1.5 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. NJPAC is a proud partner of Newark Celebration 350.


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