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

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.”


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.


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