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Year of the Golden Rat at NJPAC, Newark, NJ, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester, New York City


The Chinese uses the lunar calendar for celebratory events which includes the New Year. This falls somewhere between late January and early February. The cycle of twelve animal signs originates from Chinese tradition as a way of naming the years. The animals follow one another in an established order. Each cycle starts with the rat and ends with the pig.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year 2020 is the Year of the Rat. The festival commences on January 25 and ends on February 8. For the Chinese, it is the year 4718. The Rat is the first sign in the Chinese Zodiac cycle and it is a sign of wealth. According to Chinese legends, Rat people are sensitive to other people’s emotions and are liked by all.  They are instinctive, sophisticated and alert to nature. People born in this year have a kind personality but have weak communication skills.  Blue, gold, and green are considered lucky colors for Rats.  Notable people born in the Year of the Rat include William Shakespeare,  George Washington, Eminem, Mary Tyler Moore, and Mark Zuckerberg.



Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company’s Year of the Rat celebrates the Chinese New Year with a festive explosion of dances from the diverse Chinese culture. Dances range from the courts, to ancient farming communities, to highly athletic and contemporary dances that tell the dynamic immigrant story of today’s Chinese diaspora in America.

Bring your whole family and welcome the year of the Golden Rat! It’s our annual Chinese New Year celebration with brand-new dance and music from New Jersey’s famed Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company.

NJPAC’s Victoria Theater will be transformed into a stunning garden of flowers, along with majestic dragons, acrobatic lions, elegant peacocks, twirling ribbons and much more to dazzle your senses.

Acclaimed choreographer Nai-Ni Chen and her exquisite dancers are known for fusing American modern dance with the grace, splendor and discipline of Asian art. This production will transport you beyond cultural boundaries to a place where tradition meets innovation.

“A thrilling display of artistry! With their intriguing choreography of traditional and modern Chinese dance, elaborate costuming, and a variety of music, this company succeeds in delighting people of all ages.”




A Banquet with Performance

To celebrate the beginning of the Zodiac cycle, the Company will again feature immigrant artists from the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York who will bring festival and authentic Chinese instrumental music throughout the festival.

2020 is the Year of the Golden Rat, which is the beginning of the metal cycle of Zodiac animals.  The Year of the Golden Rat is expected to be a festive year of great abundance and prosperity. To celebrate the Year of the Golden Rat, the Company has developed a rich and fantastic program that
incorporates many positive aspects of Chinese American immigrant culture in the program. This year, Nai-Ni Chen will showcase new work using elements of the Chinese Hakka culture and the stories from the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.
The choreographer and the Company feels that in today’s environment, the work of immigrant artist Nai-Ni Chen is especially important as she has been developing works that advocate for the culture of the community, fighting stereotype and prejudice as an Asian woman artist who is leading a
professional dance troupe in America.

Metropolitan area audiences have made this event an annual tradition. For this celebration, Nai-Ni Chen produced a program that introduces the beauty, creativity and diversity of Chinese-American arts in New York and New Jersey through high-quality performance and activities.

For this concert, the program begins with the playful and colorful Lion Dance, a classical favorite that brings joys to everyone.

The Hakka culture, one of China’s most well-known group of Han migrants who moved from the central plains to the coastal area and are early settlers in Taiwan. Later, the Hakka people also migrated to different parts of the world, forming a global network and a distinctive worldwide subculture. The Company will offer a beautiful Umbrella dance using characteristic of the Hakka design and a choreographed dance popular in Southern coastal China.
For this year, Nai-Ni Chen will celebrate the beginning of the Chinese American immigration to America. She will present a new dance, “A Ten-Mile Day” to commemorate the exceptional work of the Chinese Railroad workers who built 10 Miles of Railroad in one day during the construction
of the Transcontinental Railroad.

In the celebration, Nai-Ni Chen will feature some of her most audience favorite dances including raindrops, a delightful dance for 4 women celebrating the joy of womanhood and the rain harbor she was born in. The program will also include Whirlwind, the dance conceived by Nai-Ni Chen
observing the whirlwind on the Silk Road that made the desert dance with a powerful, dynamic spin that resonates with the beauty of the Uyghurs dance she experienced in XingJiang.

A Chinese New Year Celebration would not be complete without a visit by the auspicious Dragon. The Company will be performing the Dragon Dance as a conclusion to this fantastic celebration.


The Feast of the Dragon King

Date: Sunday, Jan 25, 2020 at 4PM

Location: Express Newark on Halsey and Broad Street, Newark, NJ

Join the performers after the show for an unforgettable Chinese New Year Celebration to start the next 12-year zodiac cycle with good fortune and prosperity on your side. This dinner features:

四季冷盤 – Five Fortune Appetizer: Beef, Chicken Dock, Wood Ear and Cucumber, Sushi
黃瓜木耳,五香牛排,鹹水鴉,口水雞, 壽司

Ten Main Courses
沙茶牛肉 – Beef with Malaysian Satay
豉油雞. – Chicken in Blackbean sauce
麻婆豆腐 – Mapo Tofu
豆瓣全魚 – Golden Whole Fish
核桃大蝦 – Walnut Prawn
冬菇菜心 – Braised Shanghai Green with Winter Mushroom
三素 – Buddha’s Delight
獅子頭 – Lion head meatball
走油元蹄 – Braised Pork Shoulder
揚州炒飯 – Yangzhou Fried Rice

八寶飯 – Eight Treasure Sweet Rice

Date: Sunday, Jan 25, 2020 at 4PM

Location: Express Newark on Halsey and Broad Street, Newark, NJ

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