Wednesday, November 28, 2007

NNCDC Returns to the Shuang Wen Dual Language Academy


An Inspiring Leader in Arts Education

Continuing its outstanding and innovative involvement in arts education, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is delivering another extensive after-school program at the Shuang Wen Dual Language Academy(PS 184M) in Chinatown, one of Manhattan’s most thriving and diverse neighborhoods. After her highly successful first year in residence at the school during 2006-07, which culminated in student and Company performances, Nai-Ni Chen has returned to share her unique approach to dance education through an expanded syllabus and an versatile and experienced team of teaching artists.

The Shuang Wen Dual Language Academy is the first facility of its kind on the East Coast, educating students in both English and Mandarin Chinese and incorporating the study of Chinese history, traditions, culture, and art. The school recognized Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company as an innovative arts provider with a strong history in educational programming for all ages and invited the Company to lead an after-school program of cultural and contemporary arts education.

During its first year in residence, the Company introduced students from the third to eighth grades to such traditions as the Lion, Ribbon, and Handkerchief dances, and to other related art forms, including Chinese music, martial arts, and Tai-Chi. This year, besides providing classes in traditional dance, the Company, under the guidance of Ms. Chen and in partnership with the school’s Chinese language teachers, will introduce modern dance, through a highly creative program that involves traditional and contemporary Chinese poetry. The Company also hopes to invite the participation of a Chinese artist with expertise in calligraphy, an ancient art form from which many artists, including Nai-Ni Chen herself, have drawn inspiration for their work.

With continued support from the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP), and an enthusiastic response from the New York City Board of Education, the students at Shuang Wen are continuing to learn the importance of Chinese visual arts and how to apply their principles in creating movement for performance. Upon the completion of this three-year residency, the Company will leave to the students a strong legacy of discipline and commitment, an understanding of traditional Chinese dance and movement forms, an appreciation of contemporary artistic themes and ideas, and an understanding of their context in today’s Chinese society in New York City.

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