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Song of the Phoenix

Ten Dancers Repertory Touring Program

Song of the Phoenix
Artistic Director/Choreographer: Nai-Ni Chen

Repertory collection.  Parts of this collection will be on tour each year.

Song of the Phoenix is a spectacular production of dazzling props, colorful costumes, mesmerizing music, fantastic acrobatics and lively dance by top-notch performers brings audiences on a journey through space and time to a place where tradition meets innovation. The audience will experience the majestic thunder of the martial arts and the mysterious whisper of poetry through the global language of dance.  This production features original and unique choreography by Nai-Ni Chen, whose repertoire seamlessly blends ancient rituals and modern ideas.   

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1. Raindrops
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Henry Wolff, Robert Rich, Sainkho Namtchylak
Lighting Design: A.C. Hickox
Costume: Olu-Orondava

Dancers: 4

The choreographer draws inspiration from her childhood memory of the Taiwanese city in which she was born, Keelong, also known as the “Rain Harbor.”

2. In the Bamboo Forest

Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Glen Velez
Lighting Design: Tony Marques
Costumes: Anna Alisa-Belous

Dancers:4

 

In Asian culture, bamboo represents mankind’s nobility and virtue. It also symbolizes justice, strength, and humility.

3. River of Dreams

Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Forrest Fang
Costumes: Karen Young
Lighting Design: Tony Marques
Dancers: 2

In Northeast China, the Black Dragon River lies beneath the White Mountain. Each spring, the glacier on top of the mountain melts and flows down to the fertile soil and river beneath. In this dance, the choreographer imagines the beautiful landscape that reflects the tall mountain in the adjacent water. A fisherman on his boat paddles through the river. Beside him, the spirit of the water accompanies him through his long journey into eternity. 
4. The Way of Five – Fire

Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Tan Dun
Lighting Design: Susan Summers
Costumes: Nai-Ni Chen
Dancers: 5 dancers

Fire is Nai-Ni Chen’s first exploration of the ancient Chinese theory that the cycles of creation and destruction correspond to the ever-changing phenomena of nature.  The “Five” refers to the five elements: wood, water, fire, metal, and earth.  
5. Mirage
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Glen Velez
Lighting Design: Carolyn Wong
Costumes: Jon Can Coskunses
Dancers: 5 female, 3 male

Inspired by the unique rhythms and dance movement of the Uyghur people of Xinjiang, China, Ms. Chen created a new movement vocabulary for this dance.  Its tranquility and passion evoke the images of the desert area and the people who lived in oasis towns.

6. Bamboo Rap
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Hip Hop Consultant: Dister Rondon
Music: Bamboo Rap by Zhang Chung Chuang

Lighting Design: Yi-Chung Chen

Costumes: Nai-Ni Chen

Dancers: 5

Bamboo Rap is also called Kuaiban in China where storytellers accompany their own vocal performance with the rhythmic sound of bamboo. This music uses the Hakka language, a dialect from Fujian and Taiwan instead of Mandarin. Kuaiban and contemporary Rap music share their roots in the street. Similar to Rap, Kuaiban usually uses folklore and social issues as its content. In this work, Nai-Ni investigated the tones of the voice, the rhythmic patterns of the Chinese language, the varying intensity and emotion that come with the spoken lines, which is often poetic in nature. The movement language is a blend of contemporary dance, hip-hop, martial arts and Nai-Ni Chen’s personal response to the sound and words of Kuaiban.

7. Festival
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Chinese Traditional
Lighting Design: A.C. Hickox
Costumes: Hilary Blumenthal
Lighting Design: Carrie Wood
Dancers: 8


Many dances were created for special celebrations in China such as the New Year or the Dragon Boat Festival in the fifth month. In this dance, blue flags symbolize the water wave to pray for enough rain falls to ensure a good harvest in the agricultural society. Colorful ribbons symbolize the prosperity of the village. The procession outside of the village temple further enhances the festive atmosphere.

Song of the Phoenix is a spectacular production of dazzling props, colorful costumes, mesmerizing music, fantastic acrobatics and lively dance by top notch performers bringing audiences on a journey through space and time to a place where tradition meets innovation. The audience will experience the majestic thunder of the martial arts and the mysterious whisper of poetry through the global language of dance.  This production features original and unique choreography by Nai-Ni Chen, whose repertoire seamlessly blends ancient rituals and modern ideas.