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Calgary-born dance choreographer

In addition to pioneering Canadian dance-dance, Nai-Ni Chen enjoyed an unexpected global career, appearing on such TV shows as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and set to music from Pink Floyd and John Cage.

Profile Dancer, choreographer and media personality Nai-Ni Chen Born in Alberta, Canada in 1959, Chen started his formal training as a dancer in the Calgary dance community. He travelled to the US to study with Katherine Johnson (the youngest person to ever dance on the Broadway stage) at New York’s School of Performing Arts. He went on to dance with Judith Jamison and Cecil Taylor. One of his early roles was a performance in the 1980s as “Monk” in an NSO Montreal piece based on Rilke’s Songs and Poems. He was also the soloist for several Bolshoi dance productions. He then returned to Calgary to launch his career as a choreographer. In addition to pioneering dance-dance, Nai-Ni Chen enjoyed an unexpected global career, appearing on such TV shows as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and set to music from Pink Floyd and John Cage. About his dance work in general, Chen said: “Dance is the fate of the dancers. It can be their reward.”

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