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Chen Dance Center presents H.T. & Charlip. Special Guest: Lance Westergard

Chen Dance Center presents H.T. & Charlip. Special Guest: Lance Westergard


Chen Dance Center


The Theater at Chen Dance Center, 70 Mulberry Street (corner Bayard & Mulberry in Chinatown) NYC


Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 7:00pm
Friday, March 6, 2015 - 7:00pm
Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 7:00pm



Chen Dance Center

March 5-7 at 7 PM
The Theater at Chen Dance Center, 70 Mulberry Street (corner Bayard & Mulberry in Chinatown)
Tickets:$25; $15; $12 for students/seniors
Reservations: 212.349.0126 or www.chendancecenter.org

Celebrate the Lunar New Year - the Year of the Sheep - with a performance, refreshments and lanterns at Chen Dance Center's annual Lantern Dance Festival.  The program will feature works by choreographers H.T. Chen and Remy Charlip, including a Charlip solo created on and danced by guest Lance Westergard, March 5-7, 7 PM, at the Theater at Chen Dance Center, 70 Mulberry Street, Chinatown NYC. 

(If you were born in the Year of the Sheep, incidentally, you are wise, creative, and have deep faith and introspection!   Sheep were born in 2015, 2003, and going back every 12 years).

Special guest Lance Westergard will perform Remy Charlip's "Forget the Past," created for the dancer in 1986 and set to music by Rudy Weidoft.   The solo "is dedicated to our favorite teacher and choreographer Antony Tudor."

The program's second Charlip work is his 1980 "Twelve Contra Dances," a cheery suite of dances to music by Beethoven, staged by Westergard.   Originally choreographed for two spools of brown and pink thread, this duet was first performed by Ronald Dabney and Mary Lyman at Bennington College.   "Stripped of pretense and technical fireworks, the dance uses deceptively simple movement to create lovely formations.......it's sweet without ever being cloying, and it's humorous without ever going over the top," remarked Karen Shapiro (www.wetpaint, March 1, 2013)

Remy Charlip was a well loved figure on the NY dance scene for years, first as a founding member of the Merce Cunningham Company, with whom he danced for 11 years, and then as co-founder of Paper Bag Players.   "A beloved figure in New York art circles, Charlip had a peripatetic career spanning the worlds of modern and experimental dance, children's books, and painting.  His sense of whimsy infused every aspect of his life,"  (The New Yorker, March 4, 2013).  

Artistic Director/Choreographer H.T. Chen will present excerpts from two of his works: "Warriors of Light" and "South of Gold Mountain."

Premiered at St. Mark's Church in 1998, "Warriors of Light" is an abstract journey, evoking imagery of the human spirit as it seeks to attain enlightenment.   The piece portrays a sense of struggle and journey towards something higher, exemplified in both the individual and the group.   Hand held lanterns illuminate the way as the surroundings darken, and plexi-glass poles - a modern variation of the Chinese Opera long poles - are used in a meditative way for enlightenment rather than for traditional stage combat.   Jennifer Dunning found that the work "blends new and old dance forms with remarkable smoothness."  (The New York Times, 1998)

The Company moves from 1998 to H.T. Chen's latest dance/theater piece, "South of Gold Mountain,"  a tirelessly researched work about the dedicated Chinese men and women lured to America by the promise of gold and committed to making a better life for their families.   The beautifully historic tale unfolds through contemporary dance and a score that blends Chinese music with Deep South Blues.   H.T. Chen and Dancers are currently touring several Southern states with this major new production.

Chen Dance Center's mission is to provide moving experiences in Asian American and contemporary dance through artistic creation, arts education, and presentation.   Chen Dance Center (CDC) is comprised of resident company H.T. Chen & Dancers, the School, and the Theater, which supports artists through several series, including newsteps, Ear to the Ground, and co-presentations.   With the recent completion of its renovated artist spaces, public garden, and cultural information hub, CDC offers a fertile environment for artists and audiences.


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