Chen Dance Center

Our History

Chen Dance Center is the proud recipient of the 2012 Martha Hill Dance Fund Mid-Career Award, the 2009 NYC Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture, the 2005 BESSIES Special Citation and 2002 NYS Governor's Arts Award for artistic excellence and outstanding contribution to communities. CDC is the first Asian American performing arts institution to receive this prestigious award. For over three decades, CDC has been committed to its mission to provide moving experiences in Asian-American expression and contemporary dance through artistic creation, arts education, and presentation.

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CDC is comprised of three affiliates:

H.T. Chen & Dancers (est. 1978) - a critically acclaimed modern dance company, blending Western contemporary technique and style with traditional Asian aesthetics. The Company has earned a reputation for innovative works and educational programming, as well as outstanding community outreach and residency work through national and international touring.

The Theater (est. 1994) - a professional performing arts venue that presents the work of H.T. Chen & Dancers, as well as produces a semiannual showcase for emerging choreographers (newsteps), co-presents independent artists, and commissions new dance works through its semiannual Ear to the Ground series for Asian American and Native American choreographers. Located at CDC's homebase in Chinatown, the Theater also provides affordable rehearsal space to dozens of artists.

The School (est. 1980) - an affordable, year-round performing arts school for children, offering classes in modern dance, ballet, creative movement, and piano to students ages 6-adult.

Since its inception in 1978, CDC has become the nation's largest Asian American performing arts institution, distinguished for creating a uniquely Asian American expression embodying its cultural heritage. The Company performs a diverse repertoire of works that are a dynamic fusion of the spirited energy of Western modern dance and the poise of traditional and contemporary Asian aesthetics. Under the direction of Artistic Director, H.T. Chen, the multicultural Company has received critical acclaim for its national and international touring, its extended residencies in communities throughout the U.S., its annual New York performance seasons, and its award-winning educational program for children.

Located in the heart of Chinatown, CDC is equally committed to serving the Chinese community, lower Manhattan, the New York City dance community, and the entire Metropolitan area. This commitment is honored through the programming at the School, commissioning, showcase, and production opportunities and services at the Theater, and its annual educational programming. Designed to provide students with a channel to explore their own creativity through dance, as well as illuminate the richness of Chinese culture and history, CDC provides an experience that goes beyond performance.

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Spring 2009

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

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Latest News From Chen Dance Center

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newsteps: January 2017
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newsteps: Spring 2016
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