HILLSIDE – Gene & Shelley Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University opens its 2013 spring concert season with Ahn Trio and Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in “Temptation of the Muses”, a concert of original song and dance. This one-night-only concert will be performed in Enlow Hall on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
In “Temptation of the Muses,” choreographer Nai-Ni Chen places the Ahn Trio players right onstage amid the dancing — so the musicians become immersed in the visual element of the piece. Violinist Angella Ahn describes, “We move around during the performance, and the dancers interact with us.” Dancers slide through the piano and mimic the cellist’s movements.
Chen launched the collaboration with inspiration from a poem, “A Word for Freedom,” by Persian poet Latif Nazemi. “‘Muses’ is all of us, all of the collaborators involved,” Chen says. “We have inspired each other working together, not just the Ahn Trio and myself, but the composers, the costume and lighting designers, everyone.”
“Temptation of the Muses” contains a commissioned musical score by composer Kenji Bunch, who was heralded by The New York Times as a “composer to watch.” Bunch, one of only three composers selected nationwide to inaugurate the Meet the Composer “Magnum Opus” Project, is also a favorite of Ahn Trio. “We perform Kenji’s music more than any other composer,” Ahn says. “We love him, he’s probably our favorite composer to work with.” There are also musical selections by Pat Metheny, David Balakrishnan and Ronn Yedidia.
Since forming in 1988, Nai-Ni Chen has mounted more than 20 national tours, appearing in some of the nation’s most prestigious concert halls. Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is a blossom of color, energy and motion, “like endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy,” says The New York Times. The dances of Nai-Ni Chen fuse the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art. The Company’s productions take the audience beyond cultural boundaries to where tradition meets innovation and freedom arises from discipline.
Born in Seoul, Korea and educated at The Juilliard School in New York City, the sisters of the Ahn Trio, (cellist Maria, pianist Lucia, and violinist Angella), are constantly redefining the art and architecture of chamber music – breathing new life into the standard piano-trio literature with commissioned works from visionary composers. The trio’s latest CD, “Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac” (released by Sony), is a showcase of this vibrant and original music, which reached No. 8 on the Billboard charts for 26 weeks in the Classical Album category.
Tickets are $35 – $45 and can be purchased by calling Kean Stage Box Office at 1-908-737-7469, online at enlowhall.kean.edu, or in person at Kean University’s Wilkins Theater Box Office.
Enlow Hall is situated on Kean University’s East Campus at 215 North Avenue, Hillside.
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