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Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College presents Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company Lunar New Year Celebration: Year of the Rooster; Jan. 22, 2017

by Michelle Tabnick
December 23, 2016
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College
2900 Campus Road
Brooklyn, NY 11210
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College will once again partner with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company for its fourth annual Lunar New Year Celebration on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 3pm. This all-new family-friendly celebration of Chinese culture commemorates the Year of the Rooster and will feature special guest soloists from the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-6pm).

The performance will open with the traditional “Double Lions Welcoming Spring,” a version of the Lion Dance that represents the coming of spring and a prayer for peace in its depiction of a small child in harmony with ferocious lions. Also included will be the popular harvest folk-dance “Yung-Ge” from the Han people of North China and a ribbon dance inspired by murals discovered in the caves outside of Dunhuang City entitled “The Flying Princesses,” among other pieces.

Original dance works choreographed by Nai-Ni Chen will be featured throughout the program, including the elegant “Peacocks Under the Moonlight,” which takes its inspiration from the Dai people of the Yunnan province as well as two sections from her “Way of Five” suite, an exploration of the ancient Chinese theory that the cycles of creation and destruction correspond to the ever-changing phenomena of nature (in this case, Earth and Fire).

Soloists from the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York will provide musical interludes between the dance pieces, played on traditional Chinese instruments including the sheng, a mouth-blown free reed instrument with vertical pipes, known as the Chinese mouth organ in western culture, and the ruan, a plucked string instrument similar to a lute. In addition, acclaimed musician Yueqin Chen will perform “Sword Dance” on the liuqin, a four-stringed mandolin with a pear shaped body.

“A blossom of color, energy and motion, like endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy.”
– The New York Times

About Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Bringing the dynamic freedom of American modern dance together with the elegant splendor of Asian art, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is one of the most visible Asian American dance companies in America. Ms. Chen's unique choreography transports audiences beyond cultural boundaries to the common ground between tradition and innovation, discipline and freedom, and form and spirit.

Since its inception in 1988, the company has earned a broad base of public support and has toured extensively to major performing arts centers throughout more than 30 states. Presented by some of the most prestigious concert halls in the United States, from the Joyce Theater in New York to the Ordway Center in Minnesota and the Cerritos Center in California, the Company has mounted more than twenty national tours and nine tours abroad. Ms. Chen’s work has been presented by such acclaimed international festivals as the Silesian International Contemporary Dance Festival and the Konfrontations International Dance Festival, both in Poland, the Chang Mu International Arts Festival in Korea and the Beijing International Dance Festival. The Company was also 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.

In July 2015, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company received a US State Department grant to teach and perform in Kunming, China. The project in China entailed introducing American dance styles to young dancers and to bring these students and dance educators to serve community members in need.

In addition to its extensive season of touring and performing, the company has developed Arts in Education residency programs in school districts to bring culture and arts into educational settings. Its colorful and engaging in-school assembly program “The Art of Chinese Dance” has been presented in hundreds of schools in NJ, NY, CT and PA, reaching hundreds of thousands of youth. The Company is in-residence at New Jersey City University. www.nainichen.org

About the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York

A not-for-profit organization founded in 1961, the Chinese Music Ensemble is the oldest, largest, and only full-scale Chinese Orchestra in the United States. Its present membership of more than forty musicians plays almost all kinds of Chinese instruments and music. Its repertory ranges from ancient classical to modern compositions, spanning some fifteen hundred years of history. With the goal of promoting Chinese music, the Ensemble has performed at major concert halls in New York and at schools, libraries, and museums across the eastern part of the United States. www.chinesemusic.org.

Brooklyn Center’s presentation of Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge America Fast Track program. Additional funding is provided by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.

Multibuy discounts (four or more shows) save 15% off individual ticket prices (not applicable for The Bremen Town Musicians). Multibuyers enjoy flexible ticket exchanges and discounted parking for purchased performances. A 50% discount for children ages 12 and under is offered for select performances. Discounts are also available for seniors, students, Brooklyn College faculty/staff/alumni, active/retired military personnel, and groups. $10 student rush tickets available day-of-show.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College
2 train to Brooklyn College/Flatbush Avenue
Online orders: BrooklynCenter.org
Box Office: 718-951-4500, Tuesday-Saturday, 1pm-6pm
Groups of 15 or more: 718-951-4600 x3331

About Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

Founded in 1954, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College presents outstanding performing arts and arts education programs, reflective of Brooklyn’s diverse communities, at affordable prices. Each season, Brooklyn Center welcomes over 65,000 people to the 2,400 seat Whitman Theatre, including up to 45,000 schoolchildren from over 300 schools who attend their SchoolTime series, one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the borough.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts’ programs are supported, in part, by public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Brooklyn Center’s 2016-17 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Major support for the 2016-17 season is provided by: Brooklyn College, Con Edison, TD Bank, National Grid, The Howard Gilman Foundation, the Jazz Touring Network, the Alice Lawrence Foundation, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the TD Charitable Foundation. Additional support provided by CNG Publications, The Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn Media Group, and WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Brooklyn is the official hotel of Brooklyn Center’s 2016-17 season. Backstage catering is graciously provided by Applebee’s.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts gratefully acknowledges generous support from New York State Assembly members Annette Robinson and Helene Weinstein; New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams; New York City Council Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Jimmy Van Bramer; New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl.
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