Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company takes the stage at Flushing Town Hall

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance company returns to Flushing Town Hall for a fourth year this weekend.
Photo by Lichung Zhang
By Merle Exit

Flushing Town Hall will play host to a dynamic perofrmance as the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company returns to perform Sunday, April 15, at 1 p.m.

Collaborating with Queens College Dance Program, the company will present a lineup for CrossCurrent V, featuring an upcoming work by Yin Mei, the coordinator of the program. The dance will incorporate projection and visual art. Mei will be performing her new work in progress, titled Rhetorical Act.

Mei is a director, choreographer and visual artist known for creating dance theater works that bridge geographic, technological, artistic and cultural differences by presenting a unique brand of theatrical imagination. She is currently at work on a dance theater program joining themes that stem from The Peony Pavilion, culled from her own experiences growing up in China as a young dancer.

The hour-long program also includes choreographer-dancer Huiwang Zhang, and some new works of Nai-Ni Chen.

Zhang, a dancer, choreographer, and screen dance artist, is also a current member of the Bill T. Jones/Annie Zane Company. His work has been presented at the Beijing Dance Festival (2016) and 12 Minutes Max in Salt Lake City (2017).

Zhang also incorporated edited film excerpts taken from Joris Lvens, Jan Svankmajer and CCTV in his new work, titled “About petroleum: Chinese socialism and the postmodern agenda.”

Executive Director Andrew Chiang, along with Chen, co-founded the dance company in 1988. Chen came to the United States from Taiwan more than 30 years ago to obtain her master’s degree here in New York.

“I was so excited about the dancing in New York that I decided to stay rather than teach in Taiwan,” she said.

Chiang spoke to Chen about her success in dancing, at which point they decided to form the company where Chen would both dance and choreograph.

“We are excited to see these amazing dance artists that are rising in Queens, and we feel that Flushing Town Hall should be a place where they can feel at home,” said Ellen Kodadek, the executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall.

For the entire company, the ability to collaborate with fellow creative artists makes this event so satisfying.

“We are especially delighted to work with excellent artists of this caliber because it represents the quality and passion immigrant artists can bring to our community, through contemporary dance. This is the reason we established CrossCurrent dance series,” Chen said.

A panel discussion moderated by Kodedak will follow the one-hour performance, which is set to kick off at 2 p.m. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd.

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