Friday, June 26, 2009

Executive Director, Andy Chiang, interviewed about the economy for article in Back Stage

Dancing On
How two boutique dance troupes are weathering the downturn.

By Lisa Jo Sagolla
June 25, 2009

(excerpts from article)

"Because we're a touring company, we noticed signs of the weakening economy early on, in the Midwest, and immediately started cutting back on senior-level administrative staff and marketing," says Andy Chiang, executive director of the New York–based Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, founded in 1988. Its bookings in the Midwest dropped about 50 percent from 2007 to 2008. "Even though our bookings in the Northeast hadn't yet dropped off, we started making changes in early 2008, so when things really got bad, around last September, we weren't hit by surprise."

Nai-Ni Chen presents contemporary choreography infused with Chinese dance sensibilities, as well as actual Chinese dances. "Fortunately, our company has a very good education assembly program," says Chiang, "and that really helps keep us going. Wherever we go to perform, we offer in-school programs. The funding for educational programs has not been cut back as severely as other funding sources, so we're currently focusing on doing more in that arena. We also plan to have our dancers teach more workshops here in New York, which is something we were never able to do as much of as we wanted when we were touring constantly. Nai-Ni Chen has created a unique movement style, and there's a great interest in it among dancers here. So we're viewing this as a chance to increase our local presence."

Click here for entire article

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