Cross Current VI
Nai-Ni Chen showcases a diverse array of new works
Flushing Town Hall (FTH) is pleased to collaborate with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company to present a lineup in CrossCurrent VI, featuring the Nai-Ni Chen and collaborator New Asia Chamber Music Society. A discussion will follow the performance.
“We are excited to see Nai-Ni here to showcase her upcoming new work,” says Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director.
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 the New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ. Well known for her collaboration with renowned composers for original music such as Tan Dun, Jason Kao Hwang, Joan La Barbara, Kenji Bunch and Glen Velez, Nai-Ni Chen started the CrossCurrent series at Flushing Town Hall in 2013 focusing on collaborative works with artists from around the world.
In this sixth installment of CrossCurrent, Nai-Ni Chen will be featuring excerpts of two new works in progress. The first is Bamboo Rap, a collaboration of Nai-Ni, several hip-hop artists such as Kwikstep and Rockafella, DJ Cool-V from New York and Newark, NJ, Chinese bamboo rap artist Xing Ye Ma and Yuchen Jin from Beijing. Movement for Bamboo rap is a conglomeration of Peking Opera, Martial Art, Hip-Hop and contemporary dance. Nai-Ni Chen is planning on using this newly mixed vocabulary to tell the story of the Chinese American immigration past and present.
As an immigrant citizen, Nai-Ni Chen responds to the condition of the media and democracy today. Nai-Ni Chen’s most recent work, developed in a residency at a festival in Trier, Germany, titled “We….the people” represents her reaction to the crisis of faith and trust at this time. The new work, currently titled Truthbound for a trio of dancers with newspaper and plastic as costumes, received critical acclaim in Germany. Volksfreund Critic Eva-Maria Reuther (2018) writes (translated by the presenter):
In their body and visual language, sensitively creative fantasy,and poetry. Tradition and experiment are combined with dance-like precision and dynamics. From the printed word and its trust comes the dance which is the first part of the work. The two dancers Greta Campo and Rashidi Lewis sculptures are “packed” in newspapers. Sometimes they seem like advertising pillars. Then again, their combative movements are reminiscent of the historical warriors of the Beijing Opera or old Far East woodblock prints. Inside show the two dancers. In the second part, they discover their own identity in the light that comes.
The New Asia Chamber Music Society will be showcasing a new piano trio piece by upcoming composer Lan-In Winnie Yang.
Tickets for CrossCurrent VI are $16, $10 members and students, and free for teens, and can be purchased at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222 (中文228).
Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train, and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.
Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for free. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-old teens (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love for arts and culture.