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NEWARK, NJ: NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY celebrates The Year of the Pig at NJPAC

NEWARK, NJ: NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY celebrates The Year of the Pig at NJPAC




New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), 1 Center Street
Newark, NJ


Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 2:00pm daily through February 3, 2019




to celebrate The Year of the Pig
in the Chinese theme of Bamboo
February 2-3, 2019

The Year of the Pig marks the end of a Zodiac cycle, and the Chinese people usually celebrate the occasion with abundant food, dance, music and festivity lasting a month long. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will celebrate the end of the cycle with a special program steeped in symbolism and virtue, expressing the Company's commitment to the art and the culture of the community.


For the 21st year, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company announces a colorful and vibrant special Chinese New Year Celebration at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ 07102, on Saturday and Sunday, February 2 and 3, 2019 at 2pm. Tickets are $25-45 and are available by phone at (888) GO-NJPAC or online at https://www.njpac.org/events/detail/year-of-the-pignai-ni-chen-dance-company.
2019 is the Year of the Pig, which is the end of a cycle of Zodiac animals. The Year of the Pig is expected to be a festival year of great abundance and prosperity. To celebrate the Year of the Pig, the Company has developed a rich and fantastic program that incorporates many positive aspects of Chinese and Chinese American immigrant culture in the program. 
The choreographer and the Company feels that in today's environment, the work of immigrant artist Nai-Ni Chen is especially important as she has been developing works that advocate for the culture of the community, fighting stereotype and prejudice as an Asian woman artist who is leading a professional dance troupe in America. 
This year, Nai-Ni Chen bring a new Bamboo themed production aimed to take audiences beyond cultural boundaries, to a place where tradition meets innovation and freedom arises from discipline. The company has received more than 15 awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and numerous awards from New Jersey and New York State.
Chen and company specialize in "a remarkably smooth blend of the new and the old, as well as a confident, intensely personal approach to nature," says The New York Times, which has described Chen's dancers as "endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy."
"With their intriguing choreography of traditional and modern Chinese dance, elaborate costuming, and a variety of music, this company succeeds in delighting persons of all ages." 
- Broadway World
Metropolitan area audiences have made this event an annual tradition. For this celebration, Nai-Ni Chen produced a program that introduces the beauty, creativity and diversity of Chinese and Chinese-American arts in New York and New Jersey through high-quality performance and activities.  As a tradition, the Company will begin the celebration with a new and fantastic Double Lion Dance, in which a dancer, dressed as a child, plays with two golden lions in stylized, coordinated acrobatic maneuvers.  The dance symbolizes the coming of spring and a prayer for peace as a small child appears in harmony with the ferocious lions.  
To celebrate diverse Chinese folk cultures, the Company will offer the beautiful Peacock Trio to the authentic music of Hulusi, a bamboo instrument from Yunan Province of China. The Company will be joined by world renowned Chinese fluist Tao Chen following the Peacock Trio
For this year, Nai-Ni Chen chose the theme of Bamboo to express her vision and what she feels that dance can bring to the world.   The most revered plant in Chinese art, the Bamboo is a symbol of uprightness and tenacious endurance. The Bamboo is full of spirit resonance as it keeps its leaves green through winter. It's hollow inside, symbolizing humility, and the solid nodes symbolize honesty and strength. The new dance, Bamboo Collection, is her way to showcase the strength and vitality of her artistry and expresses her advocacy as an immigrant, Asian American artist bringing the highest form of artistic expression to America.
Following the Intermission, the audience will be treated with another level of color and abundance. The Company has invited renowned Kunqu artist Jenny Jia to perfom a Chinese Opera excerpt to showcase the fantastic, extravagant beauty of this ancient art form. Ms. Jia was invited to America by Lincoln Center to take part as a principal actress in their presentation of The Peony Pavilion.
According to the Chinese calendar, family and friends should expect 12 months of joyful abundance in the Year of the Pig. This lively performance to mark the beginning of the year will warm the hearts and delight the senses of audiences of all ages. Dancers with colorful, elaborate costumes, musicians playing ancient melodies and dazzling acrobats fill the stage. The playful Lions bring joy and good fortune.  The majestic dragons fly out of the ocean and charm the Earth with a spell of peace and wealth.  Exotic music and dance from various parts of China come together in a show of beauty and excitement. The festivities extend into the lobby, where an arts and crafts display showcases more of the culture and creativity of the Chinese-American community. 

A Chinese New Year Celebration would not be complete without a visit by the auspicious Dragon. The Company will be performing the Dragon Dance as a conclusion to this fantastic celebration.


Photo: "Five Elements-Metal" by Carol Rosegg.

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