Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company Celebrates the Lunar New Year: Year of the Water Rabbit
A New York City tradition for more than a decade, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company returns to the Tilles Center to welcome the coming of the Spring of 2023, after a long absence. This year is the Year of the Black Water Rabbit. The performance will be a spectacular experience for all ages, combining traditional Chinese celebration with modern flair. This year, to honor the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop, the Company will present a new Lion dance to the Chinese Drum, Cymbal integrated Hip Hop rhythm. The steps of the lion have also been choreographed to include Hip-Hop dance movement with a contemporary attitude. The new work is a collaborative effort from Company’s Director of New and Contemporary Dance, PeiJu Chien-Pott, assisted by Yvonne H. Chow, Lion Dance Master Henry Lee, and Hip-Hop legends Kwikstep and Rokafella.
The Company will also perform one of its most festive dances in its repertory, YungGe (Harvest Song) from northern China, a beautiful and elegant Peacock Dance from the Southern Yunnan Province, a powerful martial art solo Spear Dance and the perennial favorite, the majestic Dragon Dance.
A special feature of the Tilles Center performance, not available in other sites is the appearance of Yong Hong Jia, a well-known professional Kunqu Opera actress from Beijing, China, former member of the Bejing Kunqu Opera company. Ms. Jia will be performing an excerpt from The Peony Pavilion, from the classical Kunqu Opera repertory. Kunqu Opera is one of the most beautiful art forms in the world. In 2008, it was included in the United Nation’s List of Representative Works of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This special performance is a welcome addition for the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company.
Besides these traditional dances, a Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company presentation will not be complete without new and innovative contemporary works. This year, the Company will present Movable Figures, a dance inspired by Southeast Asian Shadow Puppetry that was originally commissioned by the Morningside Dance Festival and Mirage, a dance inspired by the unique dance style of the Uyhgur people residing in the XingJiang region of China.
The Company dancers, acrobats and musicians will be performing in festive costumes in red, gold, blue and purple colors symbolizing their prayer for a peaceful and harmonious New Year with plenty of prosperity and good fortune for everyone to enjoy and share.