International Dance Theatres Festival in Lublin – Summer Outdoor

Nai Ni Chen Dance Company (USA) will be a special guest of the Summer Edition of 27th International Dance Theatres Festival in Lublin!

After 18 years of its first visit in our city this magnificent contemporary dance group is visiting Lublin again! Founded by a successful and prominent choreographer Nai Ni Chen (1959-2021) the Company will perform their best and newest repertory as well as meet the local community proposing a wide range of dance workshops. We are looking forward to providing our dance community a great dance lesson and to inviting local Ukrainian community for a unique meeting with dance language of one of the greatest personalities of American contemporary dance world.

14th July 2023 – Muszla Koncertowa im. Romualda Lipko, Lublin


Artistic Director: Greta Campo
Director of Traditional Dance and Preservation: Ying Shi
Director of Creative and Contemporary Dance: PeiJu Chien-Pott
Dancers: Greta Campo, Candace Jarvis, Emma Branson, Esteban Santamaria, Kyle H. Martin, Sarah Botero, Thibaut Wizled, Evan Matthew Stewart, Rio Kikuchi

Ashes of a Dead Frog
Choreographers: Jacek Luminski
Music: Glen Velez, Mesopotamia
Dancers: Emma Branson, Candace Jarvis, Kyle H. Martin, Evan Matthew Stewart, Thibaut Witzleb

Originally inspired from reading about how the Japanese first encountered the Europeans and described the visitor’s skin color as looking like a dead frog.

Neptune’s Dialogue
Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Music: Nocturnal Emissions
Dancers: Rio Kikuchi, Evan Matthew Stewart, Emma Branson, Thibaut Witzleb, Kyle H. Martin, Candace Jarvis

This is an early work of Nai-Ni Chen, created in 1990s. She created several dances in memory of her childhood in Taiwan. This dance reminds us of the YeLu Geological Park, a unique beach with a forest of sandstone formations. At night, it is both haunting and romantic.

Peacock Dance
Dancers: Sarah Botero

There are more than 55 ethnic groups living in China, and each group has unique dances and music. The peacock is considered a sacred bird among the Dai people in the Yunnan province. Because of the performers’ supreme grace and elegance as peacocks, this dance is one of the most beautiful from that province. Many of the movements in this piece derive from real actions of the peacock, such as drinking water, walking, running, and grooming its feathers. The solo musical instrument for this dance: hulusi was originally used primarily in Yunnan province by the Dai and other non-Han ethnic groups but is now played throughout China. The hulusi has a very pure, clarinet-like sound.

Way of Fire
Dancers: Greta Campo, Rio Kikuchi, Candace Jarvis, Esteban Santamaria, Evan Matthew Stewart

An exploration of the ancient Chinese theory that the cycles of creation and destruction correspond to the ever-changing phenomena of nature. The “Five” refers to the five elements: wood, water, fire, metal, and earth. The cycles are also used to mark the passage of time. For instance, this year is the year of the Water Tiger. Each element, as part of the forces of nature, creates another in harmony and destroys another in conflict. This exploration focuses on the element of “Fire”, which is used to extract metal, and can be destroyed by water.


Music: Robert Rich, Sainkho Namtchylak
Costumes: Olu-Orondava
Dancers: Greta Campo,Rio Kikuchi, Sarah Botero, Candace Jarvis

One of Nai-Ni Chen’s most well-known dances. The choreographer draws inspiration from her
childhood memory of the Taiwanese city in which she was born, Keelung, also known as the Rain Harbor.

Choreography: Nai-Ni Chen
Composer: Glen Velez
Musicians: Lori Cotler (Voice), Shane Shanahan (Percussion), Mark Katsounis (Percussion), Glen Velez (Frame Drums)
Dancers: Greta Campo, Candance Jarvis, Rio Kikuchi, Sarah Botero, Emma Branson, Evan Matthew Stewart, Esteban Santamaria, Kyle H. Martin
Special Guest: soloist Zhongmei Li
Lighting Design: Carolyn Wong
Costumes: Jon Can Coskunses

Inspired by the unique rhythms and dance movement of the Uyghur people of Xinjiang, Ms. Chen created a new movement vocabulary for this dance. Its tranquility and passion evoke the images of the desert area and the people who lived in oasis towns. The music for this dance was commissioned by the American Music Center which has been renamed New Music/USA.

Betwixt and Between
Choreographers: PeiJu Chien-Pott and Jacek Luminski
Music: Hania Rani , Jacopo Baboni Schilingi, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Divan Gattamorta
Dancers: Candace Jarvis, Rio Kikuchi, Evan Matthew Stewart, Emma Branson, Esteban Santamaria, Kyle H. Martin, Sarah Botero, Thibaut Witzleb.

Cultural anthropologist Victor Turner describes “Betwixt and Between” as liminal space – a space, a feeling, a moment that is waiting to find it’s place. This cross-cultural choreographic work has been inspired by how immigrants and non-immigrants are thrown into this liminal space when confronted by displacement issues, social or military conflicts such as the war in the Ukraine, and how with each change, someone can be unintentionally or with intention thrown from a once solidly defined element – individual, a social structure, a concept – into this liminal space.

Nai-Ni Chen (1959-2021) – Founding Artistic Director/Choreographer has been creating dances professionally for over thirty years in the US. She has built a diverse repertory of over 90 original works and toured to major venues in the US and international festivals in 12 countries around
the world. A cross-cultural choreographer who aims to bring audience across the cultural boundaries, she has developed her unique movement and choreographic styles that reflect the grace and splendor of the Chinese cultural traditions she studied in Taiwan since youth and the dynamic spirit of modern dance that she acquired in New York from luminaries such as Mary Anthony, Bertram Ross, Doris Rudko and Patricia Rowe. Nai-Ni Chen has received multiple Choreographer Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She has been a principal affiliate of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and was a resident artist of the Harlem School of the Arts. Commissioned dances include Peach Flower Landscape for the Lincoln Center Institute, Qian Kun for the Joyce Theater Foundation, Unfolding for Dancing in the Streets, The Three Riddles of Turandot for New Jersey Ballet, Unconquered Warriors for Dancing Wheels, and Water and Tiger Lily for BalletMet, The Way of Five – Fire for Towson University; Dragons on the Wall, a collaboration with Nobel Literature
nominee Bei Dao and internationally acclaimed composer Joan La Barbara for the Alternate Roots Festival curated by Baraka Sele of New Jersey Performing Arts Center. She has set her choreography at Case Western Reserve University, Alvin Ailey School professional development program, and Long Island City University, among others. In New York, she has taught at Mary Anthony Dance Studio, Peridance and NYU, where she received her MA in Dance and Dance Education. On television, Ms. Chen is an often-featured artist on PBS/NJN’s Grammy Award-winning State of the Arts series as well as serving as a dance
competition judge for Sinovision USA, a Chinese language TV channel in the community. For her contribution to Chinese American culture, she has received awards from the New Jersey International Institute, the Organization of Chinese Americans, and Chinese American Chamber of Commerce. She has also served on Dance related panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Posthumously, Nai-Ni Chen received the Bessies (NY Dance and Performance Award) for Lifetime Achievement in Dance, and Pan American Chinese Dance Association (PACDA) recognized her with Lifetime Achievement Award as well.

About the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Bridging the grace of Asian elegance and American dynamism, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is a premier provider of innovative cultural experiences that reflect the inspiring hope and energy of the immigrant’s journey. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is a New York Dance and Performance Award winning professional Asian American woman led performing group. The company’s ground-breaking works have focused on themes from ancient Chinese legends that reflect issues of the present time to purely abstract, contemporary dances inspired by the journey of the Asian immigrants in America.. As one of the few professional Asian American dance companies that celebrates cross-cultural experience, the Company’s productions y bring forth issues of identity, authenticity, and equality. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has been presented at some of the most prestigious concert halls such as the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center in New York, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in California, the Raymond F. Kravis Center, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Florida. The company appears annually at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Queens College, the College of Staten Island and on Ellis Island. Internationally, the Company has been presented by international festivals including Open Look Festival in Russia, the Silesian International Contemporary Dance Festival and the Konfrontations International Festival in Poland, the Chang Mu International Dance Festival in Korea, the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival in China, and the Tamaulipas International Arts Festival in Mexico. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has received more than 20 awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous Citations of Excellence and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Advancing Dance Education, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is currently in residence in New Jersey City University pioneering a program with the University’s A Harry Moore Laboratory School teaching dance to urban children with multiple disabilities. For additional Company information, visit our website,; write to Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, P.O. Box 1121, Fort Lee, NJ 07024; or call (800) 650- 0246. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is represented by Red Shell Artists Management (646) 495-1564 or email at Our website is:

About Jacek Luminski

Guest Choreographer Jacek Luminski is the founding artistic and executive director of the Silesian Dance Theatre in Bytom (Silesia), the premiere contemporary dance company of Poland and an institution dedicated to the development and promotion of dance nationally and internationally. He designed educational and community outreach programs to promote dance and audience development. Supported by the EU, the Silesian Dance Theater cooperated with six European dance schools under Luminski’s guidance, developing the country’s first accredited university dance curriculum. Luminski has received numerous awards for his outstanding achievements in developing a unique style, technique and form of dance theater. He serves as Professor and the Head of the Dance Division at the Academy of Music in Katowice and he holds professorship at the Beijing Dance Academy in China as well. For more than a decade now Luminski has been a main figure behind the institutionalized creative support for young and independent choreographers in Poland – an idea seen in the Art Spaces- Katowice Program recently established with support from the Institute of Music and Dance (as well as Ministry of Culture and National Heritage). Currently he is working on international dance projects “Roots of Dance” established by the National Institute of Music and Dance. He is pursuing his new academic career with the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. His main areas of research interest include, persistent systems of identity formation, embodied culture, contemporary transformations of citizenship, etc. Jacek is a graduate of
pedagogy department of dance at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw,

Directors of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Greta Campo – Artistic Director, began dance training in her native Milan at the Carcano Theater, where she was first introduced to Martha Graham’s work. At age 19, she began the
Professional Training Program at the Martha Graham School in NYC and, after a couple of months, she joined Graham II, performing in ensemble and solo roles. She performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company in their 2012 New York Season and has also traveled nationally and internationally with them as a member of the corps. She completed the Teacher Training Program at the School. Greta received the 2016 Rising Star Award from Fini Dance Festival. Ms. Campo joined the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in 2012, besides dancing she teaches for several teaching projects with the Company, including dance classes for kids with disabilities, for public school kids, she has taught college students and masterclasses with Nai-Ni Chen. Since the Pandemic Ms Campo has been teaching the Company Style, Kinetic Spiral, via Zoom. She joined different projects with Buglisi Dance Theater in 2019.

PeiJu Chien-Pott – Director of Contemporary/Creative Dance is an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance artist from Taiwan, described as “one of the greatest living modern
dancers” , celebrated particularly for her work as Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and her performances in the iconic roles of the Graham repertory. On the theater stage, PeiJu was a Principal Actress in the latest Kung Fu musical “Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise” commissioned by The Shed and choreographed by Akram Khan. She holds a BFA in Dance from the prestigious university, Taipei National University of the Arts where she’s honored with an “Outstanding Alumni Award”. Her many awards include a Bessie for “Outstanding Performance”, Positano Premia La Danza Leonide Massine for “Best Female Contemporary Dancer”, Capri International Dance Awards, included “Best Performers” in the 2014 and 2017 Dance Magazines, and numerous awards in her native Taiwan. PeiJu currently serves as a faculty member at The Ailey School and her commercial work is represented by MMG New York.

Ying Shi – Choreographer/Director of Traditional Dance and Preservation. is from Beijing, China. Ying received her Bachelor’s Degree in Chinese Dance from the Beijing Dance Academy and her Master’s Degree from the School of Arts at Peking University. Her extensive experience teaching Chinese Classical Dance includes the Ailian Chan Dance School (Beijing), the Beijing Dance Academy and the Tsinghua University Dance Troupe. As a young dancer, she was a member of the Nanchang Song & Dance Troupe in the Jiangxi Province. She joined the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in 2013 and established her own school in 2019. She is the gold medal award winner of the Overseas TaoLi Cup Professional division in 2019.


Candace Jarvis is originally from Brampton, Ontario, started her professional training at Bold Dance Company under the direction of Emilio and Stephanie Macri. She continued her training
at The Ailey School as a Certificate Student. She has performed works by many choreographers including Amy Hall, Tracy Inman, Carlos Dos Santosand Norbert De La Cruz III. In 2013 Ms. Jarvis performed in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations Cast of 50 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and took part in Robert Battle’s New Directions Choreographers Lab at The Ailey School. Ms. Jarvis was a former member of Awaken Dance Theater under the direction of Rebekka Nodhturft. In 2015 she earned her Certificate of Honors from The Ailey School Certificate Program and joined the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company.

Evan Matthew Stewart is originally from Buffalo, NY, began his dance training at Miss
Barbara’s School of Dance and at the age of ten continued to advance his training at David deMarie Dance Studio in styles varying from contemporary to tap and ballet to jazz. Evan also attended the Royal Academy of Ballet (Buffalo, NY) under the direction of Beth Waddell and while in college, attended the Joffrey School of Ballet New York City summer intensive to further his skills in ballet. In 2016, Evan graduated from the University of Buffalo with his BFA in dance and minor in counseling. During his time at the University at Buffalo, Evan was a member of the dance program’s pre-professional company Zodiaque under the direction of Thomas Ralabate and Tressa Gorman-Crehan. Since moving to NYC, Evan has had the opportunity to work with Ebony Williams and perform for her at Jacob’s Pillow. Evan is also a dancer in the upcoming film, “In the Heights,” directed by Jon Chu and choreographed by Chris Scott.

Rio Kikuchi was born in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of 3, Rio began ballet training at Studio Benus in Japan and later she was introduced to Tap and Jazz. She took Summer Intensive at
Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington DC in 2015. She also studied Ballet technique and Point work privately with Luis Villanueva. In 2017, Rio moved to New York and was offered a scholarship to study at The School of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In addition, she received a scholarship at Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer Program in 2019. She has worked with Ronni Favors, Darshan Singh Bhuller and performed “Memora” with Alvin Ailey Dance Theater at New York City Center in 2018.

Thibaut Witzleb is a graduate of the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and the Ailey School where he earned a Horton Teaching certification. He had the opportunity to dance “Revelations” with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City Center in 2019 which was broadcasted on network television. He also took part in Jacqulyn Buglisi’s Table of Silence 9/11 Memorial in Lincoln Center for the past 3 years. Thibaut danced with Mosley’s Hearts of Men Diversity of Dance, International Ballet Festival of Union City, Ballet Beyond Borders International Los Angeles and with the Fordham and Columbia. University. Thibaut also worked for the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Paul Taylor Dance Foundation and the Dance Magazine Awards 2019 and 2020. Besides dancing for Nai-Ni Chen, Thibaut is assisting emerging choreographer Nobert de la Cruz.

Esteban Santamaria is from Colón, Panamá, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in dance from the “Universidad de Panamá” and from “The Ailey School”. Esteban is a former company member of the “Ballet Nacional de Panamá” and “Graham 2”. Esteban also performed with the “Martha Graham Dance company” in Europe.

Emma Branson began dancing at Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet in Richland, Washington under the direction of Debra Pearse Rogo. Augmenting her dance education, Emma attended summer
dance intensives such as the Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Program, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Ballet Theater, and The Juilliard School. Emma is a recent graduate of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee on scholarship where she earned her B.F.A in Contemporary Dance Performance as well as represented as the Wendy McCain Dance Scholar Recipient. While finishing her studies during her senior year, Emma was an apprentice with Complexions Contemporary Ballet where she performed Dwight Rhoden’s works all over the U.S. and Europe. Emma has worked in choreographic residencies with and performed works by Dwight Rhoden, Helen Pickett, Francesca Harper, Maleek Washington, Margo Sappington, Rex Wheeler, Daniel Pelzig, and more.

Kyle H. Martin was originally from Montclair, NJ – Kyle began his dance training at Sharron Miller’s Academy for The Performing Arts. Mr. Martin continued his training at The Ailey School where he graduated with honors from the certificate program. Soon after Mr. Martin joined Alvin
Ailey American Dance Theater second company Ailey II from 2018-2020 where he traveled internationally and domestically. Mr Martin has performed works by Twyla Tharp William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Matthew Rushing, Robert Battle, Judith Jamison, Hope Boykin, Christopher Huggins ,Pascal Rioult, Ray Mercer, Frederick Earl Mosley, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Pascal Rioult, Pedro Ruiz, Christian Von Howard, Bradley Shelver, Yoshito Sakuraba and Norbert Del La Cruz. Kyle also has appeared In Dance Teacher Magazine, Tommy Hilfiger’s Pride Campaign, and Out Magazine.

Sarah Botero is from North Bergen, NJ. Sarah earned her BFA from SUNY Purchase College, Conservatory of Dance. She subsequently continued her training in The Ailey School Scholarship Program. Sarah has had the opportunity to perform in works by Hope Boykin, Manuel Vignoulle, Rena Butler, Brice Mousset, Bradley Shelver, and Earl Mosley. She is currently an apprentice with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. Sarah also has a passion for teaching and hopes to pursue being a dance educator.

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company WWW


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