Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company ushered in the Chinese New Year, "The Year of the Serpent," with a thrilling display of artistry at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 9th and Sunday, February 10th. The audiences that attended the matinee performances in NJ PAC's Victoria Theater were enthralled by the grace, precision, and athleticism of the dancers. With their intriguing choreography of traditional and modern Chinese dance, elaborate costuming, and a variety of music, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company succeeded in delighting persons of all ages.
The program featured an excellent variety of pieces from the colorful and fascinating folk dance, Double Lions Welcoming Spring to Year of the Serpent Celebration, performed by a charming group of dancers from the Nai-Ni Chen Youth Dance Program. Whirlwind, a new dance choreographed by Nai-Ni Chen with music by Glen Velez, incorporated 8 dancers in a modern piece. Chen took inspiration from her journey on the "Silk Road" which begins in China, passes through Central Asia and crosses many deserts and mountains on route to Europe. The pacing of the piece was perfect and the dancers delivered it flawlessly.
The program ended with a celebratory piece, Festival, where blue flags symbolized the water waves to which people pray for a good harvest rain. The colorful silk ribbons skillfully used in the dance symbolized the prosperity of the village. The company fascinated the audience as they made their way through Victoria Hall with a colorful model of an elaborate serpent.
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company brings the dynamic freedom of American modern dance together with the elegant splendor of Asian art. The company has toured throughout the United States and abroad, gaining national and international recognition for their artistry. For additional information about the company, their programs, or dance classes, visit their website, www.nainichen.org or call (800) 650-0246.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center continues their February dance performances with NJ Moves on Saturday, February 23rd at 7:30 pm. It will feature an eclectic program of dance pieces performed by companies located in the Garden State including Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, SoulJerz Dance Entertainment, Lustig Dance Theatre, New Jersey Ballet, Claire Porter, and 10 Hairy Legs.
NJ PAC is conveniently located in the Arts District of Newark. Tickets for all of their performances can be obtained by calling 1-888-GONJPAC, online at www.njpac.org, or by visiting their box office at One Center Street in Newark, NJ.
Photo Credit: Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
Marina Kennedy writes articles on performance venues for Broadwayworld.com and is a reporter and columnist for The Alternative Press.com. Her interest in dance and theater stems from the many years she owned and operated a dance school, "Dance Unlimited" in New Jersey in late 70's and 80's. She has maintained her deep interest in the arts and enjoys writing about performances in New York and New Jersey. |