Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has established a new dance institute via Zoom, The Bridge.
The Institute’s goal is to bring together dancers, choreographers and directors from around the world to experience the master teachers of color whose practices are rooted in the community and focus on advancing the art dance that transforms personal, environmental and metaphysical spaces. Interested dancers can join the course by registering here.
As a virtual dance institute, The Bridge will invite world-class dancers and choreographers as well as up-and-coming artists to teach classes. Advanced/intermediate level professional or pre-professional dancers looking to explore beyond their own boundaries and seeking new dance experiences are encouraged to participate. The core curriculum is based on Nai-Ni Chen’s Kinetic Spiral, which is a cross-cultural dance vocabulary that integrates Chinese martial arts philosophy in TaiChi with the contemporary dance practices she studied in America. Guest artists will cover a wide range of folk and classical dance styles.
Bridge class schedule: Monday, August 15, 2022 | Andy Chiang (Tai Chi and Qi Gong) Embrace Yin and Yang through Tai Chi, a gentle exercise that helps you move with focus and determination. We will begin the class with a Qigong exercise called the 8 Section Brocade which is one of the oldest forms of Qigong known in China. After that, we will do the simplified Tai Chi in 8 movements. No experience necessary.
Wednesday, August 17, 2022 | Rio Kikuchi (Kinetic Spiral) at 10 a.m. Tap into the creative energy of the universe through Kinetic Spiral. Nai-Ni Chen’s signature technique is based on the principle of the ever-changing universal forces of Yin and Yang to cultivate the dancer’s vital energy Chi (Qi) allowing the dancer to achieve higher performance with less effort. ‘effort. By focusing on breath and imagery, Kinetic Spiral also balances the spiritual, mental and physical energy of the dancer. The Kinetic Spiral technique forms the foundation of Nai-Ni Chen’s cross-cultural movement style and embodies her efforts to work at the intersection of culture and race, advocating for equity with grace and power.
In this difficult time of change and uncertainty, the arts are a source of healing and unity, we would like to encourage everyone to support dance as dance is essential medicine for society to recover from the pandemic which caused injury to our bodies and our hearts. Support for The Bridge can be sent via https://www.nainichen.org/donate.
About the artists: Andy Chiang has been a lifelong martial artist, having a black belt in karate at the age of 18, then joined the Taiwan-based Wu Tang organization to study Shaolin and Tai Chi. He is the partner of Nai-Ni Chen and the executive director of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company.
Born in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of 3, Rio Kikuchi began ballet training at Studio Benus in Japan and later was introduced to tap and jazz. She completed the Summer Intensive at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC in 2015. She also studied ballet technique and occasional work privately with Luis Villanueva. In 2017 Rio moved to New York and was offered a scholarship to study at the School of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Additionally, she was awarded a scholarship to the Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer Program in 2019. She performed with Alvin Ailey Dance Theater at New York City Center in 2018. Member of Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Rio is also a Certified Gyrokinesis Instructor. .
Nai-Ni Chen, was a unique artist whose work crosses cultural boundaries. Each of her dances reflects her personal vision as an American immigrant and female artist deeply rooted in Asian culture. From this very personal perspective, she creates new works that reflect current issues with global influences. Some of his works have been developed in collaboration with renowned artists such as the Ahn Trio, Glen Velez, Joan La Barbara and members of the New Asia Chamber Music Society.
Blending the grace of Asian elegance with American vibrancy, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is a leading provider of innovative cultural experiences that reflect the inspiring hope and energy of the immigrant journey. The company’s groundbreaking works have focused on themes ranging from ancient legends that reflect present-day issues to purely abstract contemporary dances influenced by a mix of cultures that Nai-Ni Chen experienced in New York. An Asian American company that celebrates cross-cultural experience, the company’s productions naturally raise questions of identity, authenticity and equality.
The company has presented in some of the most prestigious concert halls such as the Joyce Theatre, Lincoln Center in New York and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Florida. The company performs annually at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Queens College, College of Staten Island and Ellis Island. Internationally, the company has performed at international festivals including Open Look Festival in Russia, Silesia International Contemporary Dance Festival, Konfrontations International Festival in Poland, Chang Mu International Dance Festival in Korea , the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival in China and the Tamaulipas International Arts Festival in Mexico.
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has received more than 20 awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous commendations and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. To advance dance education, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is currently in residence at the University of New Jersey City, pioneering a program with the university’s A Harry Moore Laboratory School, who teaches dance to disabled children in cities. For more information about the company, visit their website, www.nainichen.org; write to Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, PO Box 1121, Fort Lee, NJ 07024; or call (800) 650-0246.
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company programs are made possible through the generous support of our Board of Directors, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF), New Jersey Cultural Trust, New York State Council on the Arts with support from Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund administered by the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, EJ Grassman Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, New Music USA, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation , Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund, the Rapid Response Program of American Dance Abroad, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Cultural Exchange Fund, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, PSEG, Proskauer, WAC Lighti ng, and the Glow Foundation and the Dragon and Phoenix Foundation.