METUCHEN, NJ - The Edison Arts Society will present “Dance Unite,” a unique opportunity to the spectacular drama of global culture through the art of dance on Saturday, June 13 at 7 p.m.
The dance program, featuring artists from professional companies in New York City as well as the local New Jersey area, will be held at the Forum Theatre on Main Street in Metuchen.
The Nai Ni Chen Dance Company has been sited by the New York Times for being “a blossom of color, energy, and motion like endlessly proliferating forces for cosmic energy.” Choreographer/dancer, Nai Ni Chen, selectively fuses the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art to create thrilling pieces. Using dazzling costumes and props, the dancers expand on some of the most ancient dances in the world.
For this performance Nai Ni Chen Dance Company will be presenting the Ribbon Dance, which according to Chinese legend is inspired by the dream of a great Emperor. The Emperor had dreamed that he was in a Moon Palace surrounded by singing fairies, who danced around him wearing long, flowing robes. This particular dance is the most popular in the traditional Chinese New Year Celebration and will be performed by a troop of performers who range in age from 8-14.
From Ancient China the dance program will move to a Middle Eastern flavor, with Bellyqueen, a professional world fusion belly dance company and school, based in New York City. Co-founded in 1998 by Kaeshi Chai, Bellyqueen is a collaborative collective that honors tradition, yet celebrates dance innovation.
Belly dance, which originated in Arabic, Turkic, and Farsi speaking countries, has spread globally, and is considered to be one of the oldest forms of dance movement in the world. While it started in the deserts of the Middle East, today it is a social dance of joy that unites friends and families and should be a rousing highlight of the “Dance Unite” program.
Alborada Spanish Dance Theater, considered New Jersey's premier flamenco and Spanish dance company reveals through its passionate artistry the diverse and historical threads that comprise the multicultural fabric of the Spanish culture. Both entertaining and educational, the variety of its repertoire runs the artistic gamut of Spanish Flamenco and traditional dances, to Hispanic, Celtic, and Moorish cultural influences.
Reaching over 12,000 people annually in the greater Tri-State area, the Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre appears in full-state theater productions, arts-in-education assemblies for K-12 schools, community outreach programs for special needs populations, and free festival performances. They also offer beginner and intermediate level flamenco classes right in Metuchen for anyone interested in learning this exquisite dance form.
Alborada soloist Claudia Morena, will be entertaining the audience with Sevillanas, Tangos, Guajiras, and Bulerias on June 14th at “Dance Unite.”
From China, to the Middle East, to Spain, the multi-cultural dance program will continue with the Kalamandir Dance Company, which uses the vocabulary of classsical Indian dance to explore new spaces of artistic expression, instead of diminishing the foundation of classical Indian styles. Kalamandir Dance company incorporates aspects of Western dance into Odissi, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Capoeira, Flamenco, Modern, and Ballet pieces for a unique and exciting interpretation. Creativity and the expression of human emotions drives the dancers to express themselves freely, hoping to unite people through the artistic expression.
For something entirely different, Beat Club, led by Eric Samson, chooses dance to overcome the obstacles that life often puts in the way of success. The name of the group is derived from the belief that through dance, we can rise above adversity, negativity, and “beat the odds.”
Beat Club studies urban dance forms starting from the 70s and moving forward. Styles include b-boying to g/girling, locking, house, popping waacking, voguing, hip hop, and commercial street jazz and industry style. Interestingly enough, however, all dancers involved in Beat Club are required to train in the traditional styles of ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, and lyrical dance
The final group that will be performing in “Dance Unite,” will be Juan Flores Vogue. The vogue dance form was founded by Paris Dupree in New York in the 1960s. Dupree, intrigued by the poses of the famous models in Vogue magazine, mimicked the various poses and began to blend them in a rhythmic fashion. The style spread into the LGBTQ community, in the hopes that eventually they would be recognized and appreciated as were the celebrities of their time.
Eventually this unique form of expression and freedom was adopted by artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Brown, and Willow Smith, who incorporate the form into their music videos and concerts. In America's Best Dance Crew the vogue scene has rocketed from the underground into the mainstream media through Vogue Evolution. The vogue piece that will be presented at “Dance Unite,” is entitled “Go Rogue,” and will demonstrate the subtypes of rogue, including Old Way, New Way, Vogue Femme, Dramatics, Hand Performance, Arlm Control, and Runway, thus celebrating diversity and acceptance.
“Dance Unite” will surely leave the audience breathless with the emotion and skill that will be delivered during this truly unique opportunity to celebrate the joy of humanity. Tickets are $10 per person, $20 per family of three. For further information call 732-548-9134.