The third in the summer Lassalle Dance Lecture Series at the Woods Hole Public Library will be held on Tuesday, August 6 at 7:30 PM and will feature Nai-Ni Chen, the founder, choreographer and artistic director of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. She is a unique choreographer whose work crosses many cultural boundaries. Each of her dances reflects her personal vision as an American artist with deep roots in the Asian culture.
She comes from a rich dance tradition. As a renowned traditional dancer she studied with some of the most respected Peking Opera and traditional dance masters in Taiwan. She graduated from the Chinese Cultural University and came to America to seek her own way in the world of contemporary dance, creating a diverse repertory of dances, some from hundreds of years ago to highly abstract, modern works.
The company’s ground-breaking works have focused on themes from ancient Chinese legends (which reflect issues of the present time) to purely abstract, contemporary dances inspired by the art of Chinese calligraphy. Touring over 20 years around the United State, her company is the premier resource for immigrant Chinese American cross-cultural dance works for presenters across the country. In addition to domestic touring, her company has also visited international festivals world-wide. Also, the company has an award-winning Arts in Education residency program in urban school districts designed to bring culture and arts into educational settings as well as a smaller educational touring ensemble.
Her work has been commissioned by the Joyce Theater Foundation, the Lincoln Center Institute, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Towson University, Dancing in the Streets, Ballet Met, and the Cleveland Dancing Wheels. She has taught master classes at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Russia, Poland, Taiwan, Mongolia and China.
Ms. Chen comes to Woods Hole thanks to Cara McManus, a Falmouth native who is a new member of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and through the generosity of Woods Hole summer resident Nancy Lassalle who has funded this Dance Series of top-notch speakers who are actively involved in the dance world. Thanks to Ms. Lassalle’s generosity, the Library is able to offer all these first-class events entirely free and open to the public.