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 Nai-Ni Chen Dance Co. to Perform Chinese New Year Classic at SRU Jan. 20 



Jan. 10, 2006

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854;



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The world-renowned Nai-Ni Chen Dance Co. will perform “Lion Dance,” a 3,000-year-old routine and Chinese New Year tradition, as well as several other colorful dances, when it appears Jan. 20 at Slippery Rock University.

Tickets are available for the 7:30 p.m. performance in SRU’s Miller Auditorium. Prices are $12 for adults; $10 for those 62 and older or 17 and under and $7 for SRU students. Call 724-738-2091.

  Nai-Ni Chen, based in New Jersey, has performed in 35 states, as well as China, Poland and Guatemala and won numerous awards. The company’s performance is part of SRU’s new ING Performing Arts Series, launched to bring quality arts entertainment to the region.

Here is the program:

Lion Dance

The Lion Dance is a prayer for peace, because in it a playful child leads a powerful beast and other dancers don animal costumes.  The child and beast playing together symbolize harmony on earth, and is performed at the beginning of the year.

 Mongolian Chopstick Dance

Chopstick Dance originated in Inner Mongolia. During festival celebrations, Mongolian people gather and enjoy a feast.  Afterwards, they dance with the chopsticks to express joy and happiness.  Circular gestures signify a Mongolian’s life on horseback. 

Lu Wen-Long, the Warrior

This dance is taken from the Chinese Kunque Opera, which has more than 500 years of history.  Legends say Lu Wen-Long was born in a Han military family in Sung Dynasty, but was abducted by the Manchurians and grew up among the enemy of the Han.  The costume includes high platform shoes and the bird’s feather on his headdress, symbolizing courage.

Spring on the Han River

The Fan and Handkerchief Dance is from Northeast China where the people are mostly farmers.  During the harvest, villagers gather in the field and dance with fans and scarves as part of the celebration.  This duet expresses the joy and love between a young couple.


This dance draws inspiration from the choreographer’s childhood memory of the city where she was born, Keelong.  The city is also known as the “Rain City” in Taiwan.


The book I-Ching says, "The Tao is ever changing, alternating movement without rest."   As nature unfolds at a vibrant pace, so does life's journey, interpreted in this dance.

Peacock Dance

In China, there are over 55 ethnic groups.  The peacock is considered sacred bird among the Dai people in Yunnan province. In this dance, many movements are derived from the imitation of the peacock drinking water, walking, running and grooming its feathers.


In this dance, drawn for the Dragon Boat Festival in summer, the blue flag symbolizes the waves in the water, which lead the dancers and racers to their victory.  The colorful ribbons symbolize the prosperity of the village.

  ##PN, PR, PgN





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