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Michelle Tabnick
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Flushing (Queens), NY

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and Flushing Town Hall Present CrossCurrent V with Guest Artists: Prof Yin Mei Critchell and Huiwang Zhang, April 15

by Michelle Tabnick
April 11, 2018
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd.
Flushing (Queens), NY 11254
(718) 463-7700 x222
Flushing Town Hall (FTH), the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company are pleased to collaborate with Queens College Dance Program to present an unprecedented lineup for CrossCurrent V, featuring an upcoming work Yin Mei, the coordinator of the program, and emergent choreographer dancer Huiwang Zhang, as well as the new works of Nai-Ni Chen on Sunday, April 15th at 2 PM. A panel discussion moderated by Ellen Kodedak, the Executive Director of Flushing Town Hall, will follow the one-hour performance.

"We are excited to see these amazing dance artists that are rising in Queens, and we feel that Flushing Town Hall should be a place where they can feel at home," says Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall. "We are especially delighted to work with excellent artists of this caliber because it represents the quality and passion immigrant artists can bring to our community, through contemporary dance. This is the reason we established CrossCurrent dance series," says Nai-Ni Chen.

This year, CrossCurrent V will feature a new work-in-progress of Prof. Yin Mei, the Coordinator of Queens College Dance program. The dance will incorporate projection and visual art. She will be performing her new work in progress, titled Rhetorical Act. 

Another new work titled: About petroleum: Chinese socialism and the postmodern agenda is created by choreographer Huiwang Zhang who incorporates edited film excerpts taken from Joris Lvens, Jan Svankmajer and CCTV.

For CrossCurrent V, Nai-Ni Chen will showcase some of her most recent collaboration with the extraordinary Korean American musician, the Ahn Trio and visual artist Jayathi Morthy. She will also showcase Bamboo Rap, her latest foray into the world of Hip-Hop, a collaboration with master Hip-Hop teacher and Graffiti Artist, DIster.

About Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

NAI-NI CHEN established her company in 1988 and has since grown to be one of the most widely toured and presented Asian American dance companies in the United States with 18 awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, 8 tours abroad and over 30 national tours reaching 40 states in America. Her works have been commissioned by the Joyce Theatre Foundation, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the New Jersey Ballet, Ballet Met and Dancing Wheels. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is currently in residence at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ. Well known for her collaboration with renowned composers such as Tan Dun, Jason Kao Hwang, Joan La Barbara, Huang Ruo and Glen Velez Nai-Ni Chen started the CrossCurrent series at Flushing Town Hall as a vehicle to bring the voices of diverse contemporary immigrant dance artists to the most diverse communities in New York, where artists can meet audiences from all over the world and enrich each other with their perspective and viewpoints through the artistic experience of music and dance. Programs of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company are made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, E.J. Grassman Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the Cultural Ministry of the People's Republic of China, the Live Music for Dance Program of New Music USA, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, American Dance Abroad, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, PSEG, Proskauer, WAC Lighting, the Glow Foundation and MOCA.

YIN MEI is a director, choreographer and visual artist known for creating dance theater works that fearlessly bridge geographic, technological, artistic and cultural divides to conjure a unique brand of theatrical imagination. Having forged a dance style employing Chinese energy direction and spatial principles as a means of creating contemporary dance theater, Yin Mei has established herself as a choreographer and performance/visual artist uniquely positioned to explore themes of artistic and spiritual significance arising at the intersection between Asian traditional performance and Western contemporary dance. Through her company, YIN MEI DANCE, Yin Mei has collaborated with a diverse array of other artists, from well-known visual artists such as MacArthur Award-winning Xu Bing and Cai Guo Giang to noted theater director Jay Scheib and performers as varied as Tibetan modern dancer Sang Jijia (William Forsythe Company), Dai Jian (Trisha Brown) and Jennifer Nugent (Bill T. Jones). Yin Mei's choreography has been hailed by critics as "theatrical magic" (New York Times) and as inhabiting "the tremulous space where dreams and memory reside" (Village Voice). Yin Mei was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2012 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography in 2005. She was a Choreography Fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2004 and was twice nominated for a Cal-Arts Alpert Award in Choreography. Her work has been supported by grants from virtually all of the leading dance/arts funding organizations, including Rockefeller MAP, New England Foundation/National Dance Project, Creative Capital and the NEA, among others. Recent major choreographic works include Farewell My Concubine, a dance theater work commissioned by the Ningbo Dance Company; The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, an evening-length multimedia dance theater work commissioned by the Hong Kong Dance Company, in collaboration with director/designer Jay Scheib; and the opera Nixon in China, presented at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in 2012, in which she collaborated with noted director Chen Shizheng. Yin Mei is currently at work on a dance theater work conjoining themes stemming from The Peony Pavilion with her own experiences growing up in China as a young dancer.
HUIWANG ZHANG is a dancer, choreographer, and screendance artist is a current member of the Bill T. Jones/Annie Zane Company. Huiwang is originally from ?? (Jiujiang), China, received his early dance training from Beijing Dance Academy and later earned his MFA in dance from the University of Utah. As a performer, he has had the honor of working with choreographers like Stephen Koester, Eric Handman, Sara Pearson, Patrik Widrig, and toured nationally and internationally as a member of the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater in Beijing. He attended Palucca Hochshule für Tanz Dresden in Germany to study choreography under the direction of Prof. Katharina Christl. Currently, his own artistic practice discloses the relationship between linguistic expression and body perception in different sociocultural contexts. His work has been presented in the Beijing Dance Festival 2016 and 12 Minutes Max Salt Lake City 2017.
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