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NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY to perform in the Inaugural Jamaica Dance Festival

NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY to perform in the Inaugural Jamaica Dance Festival


Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company


Rufus King Park
150-29 Jamaica Ave
New York, NY


Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 6:45pm



Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

to perform in the
Inaugural Jamaica Dance Festival
Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 6:45pm
Rufus King Park

The critically acclaimed Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will perform in the inaugural The Jamaica Dance Festival on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 6:45pm at Rufus King Park, 150-29 Jamaica Ave, New York, 11435.  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.  Admission to The Jamaica Dance Festival is free; premium seats can be purchased by visiting http://thejamaicadancefestival.com/receipt-seat/.  For more information about the Jamaica Dance Festival visit www.thejamaicadancefestival.com, call (718) 657-2605, or e-mail TheJamaicaDanceFestival@ABetterJamaica.org.

Choreographer/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.

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company's programming for The Jamaican Dance Festival:

Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Robert Rich, Sainkho Namtchylak
Lighting Design: A.C. Hickox
Costumes: Olu-Orondava
Dancers: Greta Campo, Ekaterina Chernikhova, Candace Jarvis. Bo Pang
The choreographer draws inspiration from her childhood memory of the Taiwanese city in which she was born, Keelong, also known as the "Rain Harbor."

On the River of Dreams
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Forrest Fang
Lighting Design: A.C. Hickox
Costumes: Karen Young
Dancers: Bo Pang, Guixuan Zhuang
This dance evokes the poetic image of a beautiful river. A fisherman paddles downstream accompanied by the spirit of the water through his long journey into eternity.

Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Glen Velez
Lighting Design: Carolyn Wong
Costumes: Jon Can Coskunses
Dancers: Greta Campo, Nai-Ni Chen, Ekaterina Chernikhova, Walter Filmore, Candace Jarvis, Bo Pang, Guixuan Zhuang
Inspired by the unique rhythms and dance of the Uyghur people of Xinjiang, China, Ms. Chen creates a unique movement vocabulary to convey her feeling of grace for the land and the people of XingJiang.  This piece's tranquility and passion evoke the images of the desert area and the people who lived in the oasis.  This work was created by a grant from New Music USA.

Coin Stick Dance
Arranged by: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Folk Tune from Bai Minority Group of Yunan Province in China, and arranged by Tao Chen.  Recorded by the Melody of Dragon Music Ensemble.
Costumes: Chinese Folk 
Dancers: Greta Campo, Nai-Ni Chen, Bo Pang, Ying Shi
Yunan province in Southwest China is known for its richness in dance and music from the 25 minority groups located in this one province.  The Coin Stick dance originates from the Bai group in Yunan.  The culture of Bai is heavily influenced by the Han Group (the majority group in China), and it is said that The Coin Stick Dance of the Bai group actually comes from the Han group in Central China.  This dance is traditionally performed in pairs of dancers with a stick made from bamboo.  The coins that fill the holes on the stick make interesting sounds when the dancers shake and hit the stick on their bodies and the floor as they dance with it in celebration.

The Flying Goddesses
Arranged by: Nai-Ni Chen
Music and Costumes: Chinese Classical
Lighting Design: Tony Marques
Dancer: Ying Shi 
The Ribbon Dance can be traced back to the Han Dynasty in China over 2,000 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 found sanctuary in the caves and created their artwork 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.   

Song of the Water Lily
Choreography: Shanghai School of Dance and Drama
Music and Costumes: Chinese Folk
 Dancer: Ying Shi 
This folk dance evokes the images of the beautiful water lilies in the pond.  In China, the water lily is often used to describe the beauty and purity of a young girl.

A Better Jamaica, Inc. is the non-profit organization behind The Jamaica Dance Festival. A Better Jamaica is a federally tax-exempt New York State non-profit corporation whose mission it is: To engage in activities designed to strengthen the set of southeast Queens, New York neighborhoods known collectively as Jamaica.

The legacy of dance in Jamaica, Queens is rich - including names like Bernice Johnson and Gloria Jackson - but only somewhat storied. It is time to celebrate Jamaica's rich dance legacy, and to do so in grand fashion!  A Better Jamaica will do so by presenting an annual dance festival - The Jamaica Dance Festival.The inaugural festival will take place in the Summer of 2016, with a series of five consecutive Saturday evening performances that will take place in Rufus King Park - on the front lawn of Rufus King's storied manor house.


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