posted August 30, 2004

Nai-Ni Chen Dance to Perform Sept. 15-16

The Hope College Great Performance Series is opening its season with two performances by the acclaimed Chinese-American dance company, Nai-Ni Chen Dance, on Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 15-16, at 7:30 p.m. at the DeWitt Center main theatre.

The concert will feature both traditional Chinese dance and contemporary pieces, some of which are based on Chinese tradition. Choreographer and dancer Nai-Ni Chen and her company have emerged as leaders in bridging cultures and generations through their dance.

"The dances... seek to maintain a fidelity to the spirit, if not the actual steps, of ancient Chinese dances," says "The New York Times."

Included in the first half of the performance is the famous "Lion Dance," often performed for the Chinese New Year, which depicts a powerful beast playing with a child.

Chen's choreography will be seen in several pieces, including "Festival," which takes its inspiration from the Dragon Boat Festival in China."The viewer is transported into a magical place where movement, mood and music flow together, flooding the senses with one beautiful image after another," reviewed "Asbury Park Press."

Chen was an acclaimed traditional Chinese dancer in China, and a member of the Cloud Gate Dance Company in Taiwan. She came to America in 1982, and formed her own company in 1988. She has won numerous awards for her work, including several from the Chinese-American community for her work in preserving and advancing dance.

While on campus, dancers from the company will be leading Hope College dance majors in a master class, and presenting a workshop for non-dance students.Tickets for the general public will be on sale at the DeWitt Center Box Office on weekdays beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $14 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for children 18 and under.Great Performance Series dance concerts typically sell out, so those interested in attending are encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible. Season subscribers may reserve their seats prior to Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Additional information on the entire series and about subscriptions may be obtained by visiting www.hope.edu/gps. The box office may be called at (616) 395-7890.More information on Nai-Ni Chen Dance may be obtained by visiting www.nainichen.org.

This presentation is supported by the Heartland Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from General Mills Foundation, Land O'Lakes Foundation, Sprint Foundation, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Generous support was also given by the DeLong Endowed Dance Chair at Hope.

The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.