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Saturday, January 13, 2018

JCTC Presents Grace: Celebrating Women through Dance at White Eagle Hall

JCTC_GRACE_pressrelease-photo

On January 21st, for its first new show of the year at White Eagle Hall, Jersey City Theater Center presents Grace, an afternoon of dance celebrating femininity and the power of women.

Grace features a trio of acclaimed dance companies: Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Freespace Dance, and LaneCoArts. Not only are all three companies led by women, but all the pieces showcased in Grace are choreographed by women.

With the #MeToo movement dominating news headlines, this exclusive dance performance could not be more timely. “Grace speaks to the power of women, and the fact these are established dance companies that have toured nationally and internationally and are led by women, highlights the fact that women can be graceful and feminine, and yet also powerful,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “Part of the JCTC mission is to present programming that tackles the issues of our times. With women in Hollywood, Washington and Corporate America finally speaking out, Grace by giving women center stage and letting them tell their stories is more important than ever.”

The Grace performances are global in scope, poignant and thought provoking:

  • Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company features their signature choreography by Nai-Ni Chen, inspired by Chinese Kuaiban music, and the ancient Chinese cycles of creation and destruction.

  • Freespace Dance, headed by Donna Scro Samori, presents excerpts from A Women’s Movement, which examines the essence of femininity, the strength of being a woman in today’s world, and the universal connection between women.

  • LaneCoArts, led by Lane Gifford, combines their unique blend of dance, theater, and visual arts to explore topical issues, including the significance of the U.S. Constitution in our complex current environment, and how that relates to the broader global landscape.

The Grace Companies:

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company – founded by Nai-Ni Chen, its Artistic Director is one of the few professional touring Asian-American dance companies led by a woman. Since forming her company in 1988, Chen has created a wide-ranging repertory, from dances that originated thousands of years ago to contemporary highly abstract, modern works.  The company has performed throughout the United States and the Americas, as well as in Europe and Asia. Chen has received a Choreographer’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, is a three time recipient of the Choreographer’s Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and her work has been commissioned by the Joyce Theater Foundation, the New Jersey Performing Art Center, the Lincoln Center Institute, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dancing in the Streets, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.  She has taught master classes at colleges and universities throughout the United States and at dance festivals in Russia, Poland, Taiwan, and China. She is currently on faculty at New Jersey City University. 

LaneCoArts –  founded by Lane Gifford in 2006, this dance theater company explores the concept of communication in today’s technologically driven world through a self-referential process of collaboration with other artists. LaneCoArts  has performed at  Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival; New York International Fringe Festival; Dixon Place; Baruch Performing Arts Center, Triskelion Arts;  the 92ndSt.Y; Boston Contemporary Dance Festival; Women in Dance Project/Ailey Citigroup Theater; Bryant Park Festival/2016, and Northeast Choreographer Residency 2016.  Gifford was a finalist in the Western Michigan University 2015 National Choreography Competition and her company has received grants from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation/Dance Place; Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant,  Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant, and French Cultural Service/Government Grant (Paris, France).

Freespace Dance – a Montclair-based dance  company founded by Donna Scro-Samori, who is its  Artistic Director. In her two decade plus experience as a dancer and choreographer, Scro-Samori has performed  at The Paris Opera House, Theatre de la Ville, the American Dance Festival (Korea and North Carolina), Spoleto Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, The Egg, the Joyce Theater, The New Victory Theater, Central Park Summer Stage, Symphony Space, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Prior to establishing Freespace Dance, Scro-Samori was a principal dancer with the Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Company and a founding member of the Sean Curran Company. She received a 2008 Fellowship from New Jersey State Council on the Arts, for excellence in choreography. Last year, Freespace Dance performed I know You, an evening of multigenerational dance at Merseles Studios as part of JCTC’s Borderless Series.

Photo:  One of three companies performing is Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company – founded by Nai-Ni Chen Choreographer / Artistic Director,  (photo by Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company)

Sunday Jan 21

2:00 PM

White Eagle Hall - JCTC

337 Newark Ave.
Jersey City, NJ

Tickets: $20.00 ($15.00 for students & senior citizens/photo ID required at door). To purchase tickets, visit: jctcenter.org

Funding for Jersey City Theater Center is made possible by generous support from the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development, Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Funding is also made possible through the generosity of Ben LoPiccolo Development Group, JCTC’s Board of Directors, private donors and local Jersey City businesses.

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