Dances Inspired by the Elemental Forces of Nature, Earth, Water, and Fire is Nai-Ni Chen’s awe-inspiring production with vibrant colors, dynamic acrobatics, and joyful dance.
Lighting Designer Yi-Chung Chen
Costume Designer Anna-Alisa Belous
The ancient Chinese Taoists observed that the changes in nature can be seen through the creation and destruction of five elemental forces: Earth, Water, Fire, Metal, and Wood. They observed these forces act on each other to create and destroy all material things. In balance, the cycle would satisfy the needs of mankind and nature. Out of balance, a deficiency of any of the element will unleash other elemental forces causing havoc on earth. In contemporary society, human activities have caused the forces to go out of balance. The result is climate change, famine, war, and destruction.
Nai-Ni Chen began working on the development of the dance vocabulary and movement phrases that reflect the interaction of the five elemental forces as part of her residency in Towson University with the support of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation in 2003. She continued making dances that bring together these powerful ideas on stage to advocate for communities to consider the long-range effect of excessive use of fossil fuel (Fire), the depletion of water resources and overuse of weapons of destruction (Metal). With the help of many presenters and partners across the United States and collaborators around the world, she is able to make this new production in 2018.