The internationally renowned Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will be in Newark next Saturday and Sunday to kick off the Chinese New Year - the Year of the Tiger.
Among the attendees at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center will be Jersey City residents Julia and Jordan Allen, adopted sisters from China who were brought here, 14 and nine years ago respectively, by their mother and grandmother, Robin and Eileen Allen.
"Each year we try to do something different for the new year," said Robin Allen, a Corbin Avenue resident.
"I've taken them over to New York before for the celebration, although they are a little terrified of the firecrackers."
Allen added that the three plan to make a trip back to China in 2011 to celebrate Jordan's 10-year anniversary of being adopted, but in the meantime are "really looking forward to the Feb. 14th performance."
Following the performances at NJPAC, a 12-course New Year's feast will be offered on both nights at Chinatown Restaurant in Harrison, beginning at 4 p.m.
The five-star, award-winning chef, Chef Ni, is scheduled to create dishes not available on the regular menu at the 218 Harrison Ave. restaurant.
The dance program at NJPAC will feature traditional favorites like the Lion Dance, as well as new Chinese dances by guest choreographers Wei Chen, Min Zhou and Wei Yao.
Choreographer Nai-Ni Chen is a native of Taiwan who attended the Chinese Cultural University at age 14 for eight years of intensive training in Peking Opera, martial arts, music, ballet and modern dance. She was a part of a Chinese performing arts tour that brought Chinese culture and dance to 17 countries, including a one-month engagement at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.
She formed her company in 1988, and has performed at major art centers in 35 states. Since 1997, the company has been a resident company at the Harlem School of the Arts and receives support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Tickets for the 2 p.m. shows are available. For the performance and banquet afterwards, costs are $75 for adults, $25 for children and $650 for a table of 10. Tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for children for the performance only.
For more information, call (800) 650-0246 or visit nainichen.org/tiger.