“Spiritual Choreographer” -Dance Magazine
“A rare modern dance choreographer…”-NY Times
Nai-Ni Chen comes from a rich dance tradition. She was a renowned traditional dancer in Taiwan and served on several ambassadorial culture missions to nineteen countries around the world. An early member of the Cloud Gate Dance Theater in Taiwan, she graduated from the Chinese Cultural University in 1982 and came to America to seek her own voice in the world of contemporary dance. Since the inception of her Company in 1988, Ms. Chen has created a wide-ranging repertory, from dances that originated thousands of years ago to highly abstract, modern works. Ms. Chen has received a two-year Choreographer’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is also a three time recipient of the Choreographer’s Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Her work has also been commissioned by the Joyce Theater Foundation, the Lincoln Center Institute, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dancing in the Streets, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. She has taught master classes at colleges and universities throughout the United States and at dance festivals in Russia, Poland, Taiwan and China. Besides creating dances for her own Company, she has choreographed the opera Turandot for both the Westfield Symphony’s production at the PNC Center and the Boheme Opera Company’s production at War Memorial Hall in Trenton, New Jersey. As a guest choreographer, she created Unconquered Warrior for Dancing Wheels Company of Cleveland, Ohio. She was one of the choreographers for Ballet Met’s 30×30 project in Columbus, Ohio. Ms. Chen also completed a new ballet, The Three Riddles of Turandot for New Jersey Ballet in 2009. In New York, she has taught at Mary Anthony Dance Studio, Peridance and New York University, where she received her MA in Dance and Dance Education. She has been a principal affiliate artist of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center since its inception. On television, Ms. Chen is an often-featured artist on PBS/NJN’s State of the Arts. For her contribution to the community, she has won rewards from New Jersey International Institute, NJ Organization of Chinese Americans. She also received the Cultural Ambassador award from the NJ Chinese American Chamber of Commerce.