May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Reston Community Center is proud to celebrate by welcoming two notable Asian American performing arts groups for one night of inspiring dance and music. Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and the Ahn Trio will perform A Quest for Freedom at RCC’s the CenterStage on Wednesday, May 18 at 8:00 p.m. as part of RCC’s Professional Touring Artist Series.
Before her death in December of 2021, dancer and choreographer Nai-Ni Chen worked with the musicians of the Ahn Trio to find their common vision, explore their common roots as Asian American immigrants and, as women artists, develop innovative work in America.
“Every bit of Nai Ni’s work was visually arresting and emotionally moving; her gifts will live always,” said RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon. “We miss her terribly. The Ahn Trio – Maria, Angella and Lucia – are well-known to Reston audiences and among the most virtuosic and musically adventurous chamber ensembles of our time. We are so glad to welcome both dancers and musicians back to the CenterStage and RCC.”
Nai-Ni Chen led a New York-based dance company that merged traditional Chinese and contemporary influences for more than three decades. The company is now moving forward under the guidance of Andrew Chiang, Chen’s husband and the executive director or Nai-Ni Chen Dance, and strong dancers trained by Nai-Ni Chen.
Dancers Greta Campo, PeiJu Chien-Pott and Ying Shi make up the new artistic team, with each serving a critical role in preserving and enhancing Chen’s artistic vision: Campo, a company dancer since 2012 and formerly the associate artistic director, is the interim artistic director; Chien-Pott is choreographer and director of contemporary and creative dance; Ying Shi is choreographer and director of traditional dance and preservation.
Chiang said A Quest for Freedom “is a concert of hope, joy, struggle and courage that the Ahns and Nai-Ni Chen shared as Asian American immigrants. We are honored to be able to work with Reston Community Center to bring this production to the stage.”
The Ahn Trio is comprised of three sisters – Lucia on the piano, Angella on the violin and Maria on the cello – who have earned a distinguished reputation for embracing 21st century classical music with their unique style and innovative collaborations.
“Maria, Lucia and I are thrilled to be returning to Reston Community Center, on stage once again with the dancers of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, who continue to inspire us,” said Angella Ahn. “We look forward to connecting with the wonderful audience at Reston Community Center and honoring Nai-Ni through this beautiful and meaningful program.”
The partnership will be enhanced by the work of visual artist Jayanthi Moorthy, who brings a contemporary, visual artist’s perspective to the mise en scène.
Don’t miss this evening honoring Nai-Ni Chen’s vision, artistry and leadership. Tickets ($20 Reston/ $30 Non-Reston) are available at RCC’s Box Office or online.
About Reston Community Center
Each year RCC offers more than 2,000 positive, self-development experiences that enhance the quality of life for all people living and working in Reston. RCC provides a wide range of programs in arts, aquatics, enrichment and lifelong learning. We also create and sustain community traditions through special events, outreach activities and facility rentals. To find the programs or events that are right for you, visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com or call 703-476-4500.
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request. For further information, contact Reston Community Center at 703-476-4500, TTY 711 or visit the website at www.restoncommunitycenter.com. Reston Community Center is located at 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, VA 20191. Reston Community Center is completely accessible to persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
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Photo at top: Nai-Ni Chen Dance and the Ahn Trio. Credit: RCC