Located in Chinatown, Chen Dance Center (CDC) is a leading Asian American arts institution. CDC realizes its mission to provide moving experiences in Asian American and contemporary dance through its three affiliate programs. The black box theater, CDC Theater (formerly known as Mulberry Street Theater), is a performing arts venue that supports the work of emerging artists through production services and series such as New Steps.
H.T. Chen & Dancers, established in 1978, is a touring modern dance company that performs Hsueh-Tung Chen's dynamic choreography. His technique infuses Western modern dance with classical motifs from the martial arts and Chinese music. The company also offers educational programming both in the city and nationally. Representative works include Warriors of Light (1998), evoking human struggle and its journey toward something higher; Meditations of a Drunken Peacock (2001), inspired by an 11th-century poem by Su Tung p’o, depicting the poet’s wish to have the moon and flowers as drinking companions; and Bian Dan (2000): using as a metaphor the bamboo shoulder poles employed throughout Asia to haul burdens, this work examines the parent-child relationship, especially misunderstandings caused by generational gaps.
The school at Chen Dance Center provides year-round weekly lessons in dance and music to over 250 children.
Journey to Gold Mountain, a medley of choreographic excerpts, staged solely for public school children, traces 150 years of Chinese-American history through the repertory works Bian Dan (2000); Transparent Hinges (1997); Hidden Voices (1994); and Mott Street (1984). Journey is enhanced for teachers and students by way of a twenty-page comprehensive study guide containing suggested class activities, ideas for teacher-student workshops and post-performance discussions.