Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College will once again partner with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company for its fourth annualLunar New Year Celebration on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 3pm. This all-new family-friendly celebration of Chinese culture commemorates the Year of the Rooster and will feature special guest soloists from the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-6pm).
The performance will open with the traditional “Double Lions Welcoming Spring,” a version of the Lion Dancethat represents the coming of spring and a prayer for peace in its depiction of a small child in harmony with ferocious lions. Also included will be the popular harvest folk-dance “Yung-Ge” from the Han people of North China and a ribbon dance inspired by murals discovered in the caves outside of Dunhuang City entitled “The Flying Princesses,” among other pieces.
Original dance works choreographed by Nai-Ni Chen will be featured throughout the program, including the elegant “Peacocks Under the Moonlight,” which takes its inspiration from the Dai people of the Yunnan province as well as two sections from her “Way of Five” suite, an exploration of the ancient Chinese theory that the cycles of creation and destruction correspond to the ever-changing phenomena of nature (in this case, Earth and Fire).
Soloists from the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York will provide musical interludes between the dance pieces, played on traditional Chinese instruments including the sheng, a mouth-blown free reed instrument with vertical pipes, known as the Chinese mouth organ in western culture, and the ruan, a plucked string instrument similar to a lute. In addition, acclaimed musician Yueqin Chen will perform “Sword Dance” on the liuqin, a four-stringed mandolin with a pear shaped body.