Special Projects

Special Projects for the 2012-2013 Season

Temptation of the Muses is a collaboration between the Nai-Ni Chen DanceCompany with the music of the Ahn Trio in live performance. A centerpiece of the music is a work created for this production by Kenji Bunch, entitled  ”Concrete Stream.” Another contemporary composer on the program is Pat Metheny. The Ahn Trio plays live on stage with the dancers whose movements are propelled by the music. Dancers slide through the piano, mimic the cellist’s movements and play a kind of hand ballet with sparkling water. The entire evening meshes dance and music, each enhancingthe other. The result is sheer beauty. Nai Ni Chen based the concept on a poem, “A Word for Freedom” by Latif Nazemi which begins with these words: “Let’s kiss water/the root of civilization/a word for freedom .”  The Ahn Trio have been hailed as “exacting and exciting musicians” by the Los Angeles Times.  The three sisters have earned a distinguished reputation for embracing musicof living composers with their unique style and their innovative collaborations. They were born in Seoul, Korea, and educated at the Juilliard School in New York City. Reflecting the two cultures they grew up in, the Trio brings a new energy and excitement to the chamber music world and this will be one of the best dance/live music collaborations of 2011-2012 or any season. Your audience will love it and so will you.

 NaiNiAhn Demo Video


Prism Saxophone Quartet


This collaboration between two of the nation’spreeminentproponents of new music, PRISM Quartet and Music from China, spans remarkable distances of both space and time. The commissioned works for the collaboration “evolve a multifaceted and layered language capable of containing Occident and Orient, forging a musical hybrid enriched by both traditions.” United by their passion for fresh soundscapes, PRISM and Music from China join forces that explore the profound contrasts of timbre and culture, from instruments played for a millennium or more (traditional Chinese instruments) to the saxophone, which bears a French patent from the Industrial Revolution. Special note: presenters in the Mid‑Atlantic states are eligible for a fee subsidy by applying to Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour (www.PennPAT.org).


Leon Bates, PianoLEON BATES:


Leon Bates, in a project that includes a recital, lecture/demonstration, and/or a performance with orchestra, explores the genius of our American Originals–composers like Barber, Copeland, Gershwin, and Bernstein. Demonstrating his tremendous versatility, Bates also includes the works of African‑American composers like George Walker and Nathaniel Dett, as well as his own remarkable transcriptions of the works of Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny. Another special offering for the 2011-2012 season is joint performances with the Colorado String Quartet and also with the Borealis Wind Quintet. Both of these collaborations have meet with great success in the past. It is an extraordinary musical journey, and Leon Bates is the perfect guide–born and raised in Philadelphia, Leon Bates is an American original in his own right.




The Nai‑Ni Chen Dance Company’s project introduces dances inspired by the timeless ideas from the I‑Ching (The Book of Changes). Also available for the 2011‑2012 Season, will be highlight works like “The Way of Five–Fire” with music by Tan Dun and “Incense” with music by Joan La Barbara. The Nai‑Ni Chen Dance Company has tremendous residency activities to go along with Song of the Phoenix: Tradition Meets Innovation, Forms in Motion, Dancing on the Silk River, or The Ten Elements of Chinese Danc