Copiah-Lincoln Community College Community Arts Series presents the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Nai-Ni Chen

The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Community Arts Series will present the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company on Monday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Rea Auditorium on the college’s Wesson Campus. The performance, sponsored by Johnson Controls, is the second in the Aficionado Series.

Bringing the dynamic freedom of American Modern Dance together with the elegant splendor of Asian art, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company reaches thousands of audience members a year with mesmerizing dances. Audiences are transported to a magical place beyond cultural boundaries to the common ground between tradition and innovation, freedom and discipline, spirit and form. Winning critical acclaim everywhere, the company is quickly becoming the pride and joy of Asian American communities across the United States. Celebrating the diversity of ideas shaped by the immigrant’s journey, the company bridges the gap of understanding between cultures.

The Company will perform several dances including the Ribbon Dance, one of the most representative traditional dance in China; Lu Wen-Long, The Warrior, taken from the Chinese Kunque Opera, which has more than 500 years of history; Fan Dance, the fan is one of the most popular props used by the Han People; Raindrops was inspired from Nai-Ni Chen’s childhood memories of Keelong, Taiwan where she was born; Triple Rhapsody, which is inspired by the Nomadic lifestyle of Mongolians; The River of Dreams, part of the Dance Drama “White Mountain Black Water”; and The Way of Five-No. 2, Nai-Ni Chen’s second exploration of the ancient Chinese theory that the cyles of creation and destruction correspond to the ever-changing phenomena of nature.

Choreographer/Dancer Nai-Ni Chen is an artist whose work defies categorization. Each dance reflects her personal vision as an Asian artist living in America, working on new ideas from influences around the world. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has been presented at prestigious concert halls such as the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in California, the Raymond F. Kravis Center and Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Florida, Duke University in North Carolina, Macomb Center in Detroit, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the State Theatre in New Jersey, the Joyce Theater in New York and the Ordway Center in Minnesota, as well as appearing on a number of television specials on FOX5 and public television station PBS/NJN.

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has been awarded Citations of Excellence numerous times by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and has received generous support form the state since 1993. As participants in the First China International Dance Festival in Kunming, Yunan China, the company received the Golden Lotus Award presented by the China Dance Association. The company also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Since 1996, the company has been a resident company at the Harlem School of the Arts and receives support form the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Commissioned dances from the company include Peach Flower Landscape by the Lincoln Center Institute, Qian Kun by the Joyce Theater Foundation’s Altogether Different Fung and White Mountain, Black Water, a collaborative work with Hanulsori Korean Percussion Ensemble by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. In the 2001 season, the company presented Tianji/Dragons on the Wall, a work commissioned by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust with Nobel Literature nominee Bei Dao and internationally acclaimed composer Joan La Barbara.

In addition to its nearly 40-week season of touring and performing, the Company has developed Arts in Education residency programs in two urban school districts to bring culture and arts into educational settings. Its residency program for Chinese American heritage has been selected by the Chinese Language Teachers’ Association for Primary and Secondary Schools as a new model for collaborative language and arts education in primary and secondary schools.

Season tickets for all five Aficionado Series performances and the post-concert receptions in the Aficionado Series are $50 for adults and $40 for senior citizens. Season tickets for all five performances are $20 for students. Single performance tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for senior citizens and $12 for students and will be available at the door the evening of the performance. For more information about the Community Arts Series call Brad Johnson at (601) 643-8431.

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