Song of the Phoenix

Song of the Phoenix


Dance in its global context as it reflects the condition of the world in this transitional time.

Experience the majestic thunder of the Martial Arts and the mysterious whisper of poetry through the global language of dance.  Song of the Phoenix is a new program from acclaimed choreographer Nai-Ni Chen that brings the audience on a flight through space and time to a place where tradition meets innovation and freedom arises from discipline.

The phoenix, known in both eastern and western cultures as an awe-inspiring creature of death defying strength and majesty, represents the power and mystery of the feminine for the East and renewal for the West.  

Applying the ancient wisdom of the Chinese I-Ching, Song of the Phoenix expresses modern concerns of the changing environment and events in human life with refreshing theatrical ideas, powerful dance movements that keeps the audience excited, surprised and most importantly, connected through the arts.

Ms. Chen’s unique repertoire is a seamless blend of ancient rituals and modern concepts, which has earned her multiple accolades over the years. While they have appeared at international festivals in over 10 countries including Mexico, Germany, Russia, Poland, Korea, and China, the company, in residency at the Harlem School of the Arts, has also been presented by some of the most prestigious concert halls across the United States, from the Joyce Theater in New York to the Cerritos Center in California.

Water seems to flow through new works that the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company presented...  This water, of course, was metaphorical.  The only thirst it could have slaked was a craving for art.
The New York Times

Chen's phrases, part exoskeletal rigidity, part boneless grace, embodied an epic dignity…
The Village Voice

Remarkably smooth blend of new and old, as well as confidant, intensely personal approach to nature.
The New York Times


Press Quotes

“...None of these vignettes ever look traditionally folkloric.  There is always something fresh about the way old elements are used to mesh into something new...-



"an impressionistic work drawing on age old Chinese tradition, which originally was commissioned by Lincoln Center Institute, the educational arm of Lincoln Center in New York.”  

“The dance unwinds like an ancient Chinese painting on a scroll, one section at a time.” .. 

The Star Ledger


“Cross Cultural influences in Nai-Ni Chen’s artistry reveal her great strength lies in breaking away from rigid forms, while she simultaneously maintains essential elements of Chinese classical dance.”

The Northeastern News, Boston, MA


Nai-Ni Chen's choreography, while artfully constructed, is not an abstract experiment in dance architecture; rather, Chen aims to entrance us - and we don't just mean modern dance converts.  This is THE dance to which to take your non-dance friends, the one you've been trying to turn on to all the potential power and beauty of dance. 

The Dance Insider


Educational workshops and Outreach Activities


A reduced repertory program is available for a 45 minute preentation with movement and interaction with students.



Workshops and Masterclasses are available for pre-professional dance students on college/university campuses, as well as community dance studios. For dancers, Nai-Ni Chen introduces her cross-cultural technique, Kinetic Spiral.  Students  experience the process of working with props and practice Nai-Ni's signature style and hear music from the program.



Includes: Lecture/Demonstrations, Pre- and Post-Performance Talks, Meet & Greets and Q & A Sessions.  These activities give the general audience a chance to meet Nai-Ni Chen and the dancers , as they discuss the many aspects of this collaboration and the creative process.  The discussion can take on a broad range of topics, from cross-genre collaboration to Asian Culture in America, and can take place in a wide array of venues and spaces.  Engaging the local communities prior to the performance encourages new audiences to come see the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, and hopefully involving other artists in the community.

Sponsors and Support


Programs of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company are made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF), the New Jersey Cultural Trust, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund administered by the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, E.J. Grassman Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey,  the Live Music for Dance Program of New Music USA, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund, the Rapid Response Program of American Dance Abroad, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Cultural Exchange Fund, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, PSEG, Proskauer, WAC Lighting, and the Glow Foundation.


contact us

i n f o @ n a i n i c h e n . o r g

Tel: 201-562-4073

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