Nai-Ni Chen Dance Co. 25th Anniversary - all live music
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Co.
25th Anniversary Season of
NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY
A Celebration of Dance with Live Performances by Chen Music Collaborators
** JOAN LA BARBARA
** GLEN VELEZ
**THE AHN TRIO
April 26 & 27 (Saturday at 8 PM; Sunday at 3 PM)
Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance, 126 East 13 Street
Tickets: $25; $15 for students & seniors
Reservations: 800.650.0246 or www.nainichen.org/NYSeason
Company dancers: Greta Campo, Justin Dominic, Jenna Graves, Eun Kyung Hong, Daniel Johnson, James Johnson, Yoosik Kim, and Kristen Lau
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company celebrates its 25th Anniversary Season with a World Premiere and repertory works all performed to live music by Chen's frequent collaborators over the last fifteen years. Noted for the richness of both the dance and music elements of her performances, Ms. Chen will present her company of dancers joined by eminent musician/performers Joan La Barbara, the Ahn Trio, Glen Velez, and the Prism Saxophone Quartet. Performances are April 26 at 8 PM and April 27 at 3 PM at the Peridance Capezio Theater, 126 East 13th Street.
For the season premiere, Not Alone, Ms. Chen was inspired by a famous Tang Dynasty poem by Li Bai entitled Drinking Under the Moon. Her new work is an exploration into the realm of identity, independence and introspection. The choreographer questions if one can truly be alone with the multiple identities and roles we play every day, as well as our struggle to be independent. The Prism Saxophone Quartet will perform a score by Chen Yi, a contemporary composer from Guangzhou, China.
Internationally known artist Joan La Barbara will appear for Incense, a quartet in which her voice is heard over a tape, commissioned by the Company in 2011. Incense has been performed on Company tours since then across the U.S. and to Asia and Europe.
The glamorous Ahn Trio will perform original music by Kenji Bunch for the energetic and exciting sextet Grooveboxes, excerpted from their full-evening collaboration with Nai-Ni called Temptation of the Muses, created in 2010 and also seen on tours across the U.S. and Canada, as well as New York seasons.
Glen Velez, a four-time Grammy Award winner, one of the world's leading hand-drum masters, and an expert in Central Asian music, composed the score for Chen's Whirlwind, created in 2013 for an ensemble of eight dancers. Mr. Velez will appear in an excerpt of this new work with the Company.
Following the concert, the choreographer, composers and musicians will share their thoughts with the audience about the unique experience of collaborating in the creation and performance of a live music and dance union, one that crosses genres and cultures.
About the Artists
A blossom of color, energy and motion, "like endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy," says the New York Times, the dances of Nai-Ni Chen fuse the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company's productions take the audience beyond cultural boundaries to where tradition meets innovation and freedom arises from discipline. With support from audience and presenters, the Company has grown to be one of the most important resources for Asian American contemporary and traditional culture in America. It is one of a few professional Asian American dance companies that maintain an active national and international touring schedule with presentations and commissioned works. In addition to 35 States in the US, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has toured 7 countries in Europe, plus China, Guatemala, Korea and Mexico. Well known for Nai-Ni's work with contemporary musicians and composers to integrate live music with dance, the Company is constantly challenging the boundaries between discipline, genre and cultures. Website: nainichen.org
Composer/performer Joan La Barbara is renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques (her “signature sounds” including multiphonics, circular singing, ululation, and glottal clicks), influencing generations of composers and singers. Awards and prizes: Premio Internazionale “Demetrio Stratos”; DAAD-Berlin Artist-in-Residency; Civitella Ranieri, Guggenheim and 7 NEA Fellowships; numerous commissions for chamber ensembles, theater, orchestra, chorus, interactive technology, soundscores for dance, video and film, including an electronic/vocal score for Sesame Street. Her multi-layered textural compositions premiered at Festival d'Automne à Paris, Brisbane Biennial, Lincoln Center, MaerzMusik Berlin, Warsaw Autumn, and many other international venues. Exploring ways of immersing the audience in her music, La Barbara placed the American Composers Orchestra around and among the audience in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, building her sonic painting “in solitude this fear is lived”, inspired by Agnes Martin’s minimalist art. La Barbara teaches music composition at NYU and is composing a new opera. Website: joanlabarbara.com
Four-time Grammy Award-winner Glen Velez is an internationally-acclaimed soloist and seminal figure in the modern history of the Frame Drum. For over three decades, Velez has brought a new genre of drumming to the Western world by creating his own performance style, inspired by years of studying frame drumming techniques from various cultures. Regarded as a legendary figure among musicians and audiences world-wide, even twentieth century composer John Cage acknowledged Velez' mastery of the instrument by writing a piece especially for him in 1989. After fifteen years performing and recording with the Steve Reich Ensemble and the Paul Winter Consort, Velez maintains an international touring schedule as a soloist while teaching in a wide variety of schools and universities. Website: glenvelez.com
Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has performed in Carnegie Hall on the Making Music Series, in Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and throughout Latin America under the auspices of the United States Information Agency. PRISM has also been presented to critical acclaim as soloists with the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, and conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories, including the Curtis Institute of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory. Champions of new music, PRISM has commissioned over 150 works, many by internationally celebrated composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winners William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, and Bernard Rands; Guggenheim Fellows William Albright, Martin Bresnick, Chen Yi, Lee Hyla, and Steven Mackey; MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient Bright Sheng; and jazz masters Greg Osby and Tim Ries. PRISM’s discography is extensive, documenting more than sixty works commissioned by the Quartet on Albany, innova, Koch, Naxos, New Dynamic, and New Focus. Website: prismquartet.com
Hailed as "exacting and exciting musicians" by the LA Times, the three sisters of the Ahn Trio (Lucia on the piano, Angella on the violin, and Maria on the cello) have earned a distinguished reputation for embracing 21st century classical music with their unique style and innovative collaborations. Born in Seoul, Korea, and educated at the Juilliard School in New York City, the Trio brings a new energy and excitement to the music world. Such prominent composers as Mark O’ Conner, Michael Nyman, Maurice Jarre, Pat Metheny, Paul Schoenfield, Kenji Bunch, Nikolai Kapustin, and Paul Chihara have written works for them. The Ahns have performed in all 50 states and in over 30 countries, and have recorded six albums. The Trio formed LAMP (Lucia Angella Maria Productions), producing “Lullaby For My Favorite Insomniac,” which led to a fruitful relationship with Sony. Whether performing in Vienna's Musikverein, New York's Lincoln Center, Leipzig's Gewandhaus, Beijing's Concert Hall, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires or Istanbul's Aya Irini in Topkapi Palace, The White House at a State Dinner or touring in China or throughout Korea, they share their innovative spirit and ever-evolving vision of music. Website: ahntrio.com
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company extends its thanks New Music America (formerly American Music Center), and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust (no longer in operation), for supporting live music for dance for the past fifteen years. Ms. Chen has developed other works with great composers: Unbroken Thread with Jason Kao Hwang, Earth with Gerald Chenoweth, and Dream of Duanhuang with Tao Chen. Each of these dance/music collaborations has made significant impacts on the Company and audiences. Ms. Chen is also grateful to the late Doris Rudko, who introduced her to the unbroken ties between music and dance when she first came to America from Taiwan to study at NYU. Additional commissioning support has come from the National Endowment for the Arts, and The New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Alternate Routes program curated by Baraka Sele. The Company also gratefully acknowledges support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Joanne Rile Artists Management, and the many presenters who presented their works around the world.