Atlanta Chinese Dance Company to Present WE BELONG HERE: RISING AGAINST ASIAN HATE

"Rising Against Asian Hate" features Chinese dance choreography by ACDC Co-Artistic Director Kerry Lee, a guest performance by Trey Clegg Singers and more.

By: Mar. 24, 2023

Atlanta Chinese Dance Company to Present WE BELONG HERE: RISING AGAINST ASIAN HATE

Atlanta Chinese Dance Company is celebrating the humanity of the Chinese community and amplifies the history and solidarity of past and present Asian American civil rights movements through an original production We Belong Here: Rising Against Asian Hate on April 15-16 at Gas South Theater. Culminating in a new work "Rising Against Asian Hate" featuring Chinese dance choreography by ACDC Co-Artistic Director Kerry Lee, a guest performance by Atlanta's multicultural chorus Trey Clegg Singers, and artwork by Thai-Indonesian American artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, the production also showcases a signature work of the late internationally renowned choreographer Nai-Ni Chen inspired by her childhood in Taiwan and 15 dances representing various regions and historical periods of mainland China.

New Work - "Rising Against Asian Hate"

Choreographer Kerry Lee explains, "In the wake of the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings, I was viscerally moved by Paula Yoo's book From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry about the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin in Detroit because it was a stark reminder that there is a long and little-known history of anti-Asian hate and activism in America. Many diverse groups have supported Asian American movements then and now, and we are honored to share the stage with Atlanta's multicultural chorus Trey Clegg Singers to amplify this history of solidarity."

Projected behind the performers will be Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya's public artwork pairing colorful images of Asian Americans with phrases like "WE BELONG HERE" and "STAND WITH US," which reclaimed New York City's Times Square, Lincoln Center, and the cover of TIME Magazine as AAPIs were scapegoated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Born to Thai and Indonesian immigrants, Amanda is an Atlanta native and former Atlanta Chinese Dance Company dancer.

Atlanta Premiere of Nai-Ni Chen's "Raindrops"

A highlight of ACDC's We Belong Here will be "Raindrops," a signature work of the late choreographer Nai-Ni Chen inspired by her childhood memories in Keelung, Taiwan (known as the "rain harbor"). While the New Jersey-based Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company (NNCDC) has toured "Raindrops" nationally and internationally for two decades, this will be the first public performance of the piece in Atlanta. The cast received coaching by NNCDC Artistic Director Greta Campo.

Folk and Classical Chinese Dance Repertory

ACDC has a 32-year history of presenting folk and classical Chinese dance repertory representing various regions and time periods of China. This year's production includes 15 pieces ranging from folk dances of the Han, Dai, Dong, Li, Mongol, Tibetan, and Yi ethnic groups to classical dances with roots from the Han, Tang, and Ming dynasties of ancient China.


We Belong Here is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency - the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets are $25 for Adults and $20 for Students and Seniors (65+). Purchase early for best seating.



(ACDC): Founded in 1991 by Hwee-Eng Y. Lee and co-directed by Hwee-Eng and Kerry Lee, ACDC entertains and educates audiences on Chinese history and culture through the art of Chinese dance. The 100+ member troupe has enchanted diverse audiences through National Endowment for the Arts supported full-evening productions as well as community performances, educational lecture-demonstrations, and workshops throughout metro Atlanta and beyond. Most notably, the company helped showcase Atlanta to the world as performers in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and presented the "Chinese variation" in the Atlanta Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre for more than ten years. Click Here


Kerry Lee is the Co-Artistic Director of the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company and choreographer/lead dancer for "Rising Against Asian Hate." A native of Atlanta, she graduated from Stanford University with an engineering degree and worked for a top ranked economic consulting firm before following her heart into the professional dance world in New York City. As a traditional Chinese and modern/contemporary dancer, Kerry toured nationally and internationally with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, H.T. Chen & Dancers, Dance China NY, and glo before returning home to co-lead ACDC with her mother Hwee-Eng Y. Lee. Inspired by her work at the intersection of the arts and activism on staff at Alternate ROOTS, she brings a unique lens to the field of Chinese dance as one of few American born Chinese leaders of a Chinese dance company. Her choreography has been discussed in China's prestigious Beijing Dance Academy Forum as an example of innovative Chinese dance work reflecting Chinese diaspora communities.


In 2016, Mr. Trey Clegg followed his dream to begin an auditioned multicultural chorus open to all gifted and versatile choral musicians who share the desire to learn and perform a wide array of musical genres. Thus, the first Multicultural Chorus in the Southeast was born! The Trey Clegg Singers and The Trey Clegg Chamber Singers have appeared in prestigious Performing Arts Festivals such as the Spoleto Festival and the Highlands Chamber Music Festival. In 2022 they performed for the 90th Birthday Celebration for Ambassador Andrew Young and made their Carnegie Hall Debut, alongside the Morehouse College Glee Club, the Wendell P. Whalum Community Chorus, and the Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers, all collaboratively under the baton of Maestro Dr. David Morrow.


A daughter of Thai and Indonesian immigrants, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and activist based in Brooklyn, New York. In 2022, she transformed Lincoln Center's campus with GATHER: a series of monuments and rituals that examined how ceremony, sound, and textiles can inscribe new meaning to memory and foster unexpected belonging. As artist-in-residence with the NYC Commission on Human Rights, Amanda's art series celebrating the resilience of the AAPI community, I Still Believe in Our City, reached millions in New York City and worldwide through reclaiming billboards, bus shelters, subway tunnels, buildings, and the cover of TIME Magazine. Her work has been shown at the Cooper Union, Times Square, Lincoln Center, and recognized by The New York Times, Harper's BAZAAR, and the The Guardian. Her work is held in permanent collections at the Museum of the City of New York, the Goldwell Open Air Museum, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


Bridging the two shores of Asian elegance and American dynamism, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is a premiere provider of innovative cultural experiences that reflect the inspiring hope and energy of the immigrant's journey. The company's ground-breaking works by Founding Artistic Director Nai-Ni Chen (1959-2021) have focused on themes from ancient legends that reflect issues of the present to purely abstract, contemporary dances influenced by the mix of cultures that Nai-Ni Chen experienced in New York. The company has been presented at some of the most prestigious concert halls such as The Joyce Theater and Lincoln Center. Internationally, the company has presented at international festivals including Russia's Open Look Festival, the Silesian International Contemporary Dance Festival, Poland's Konfrontations International Festival, Korea's Chang Mu International Dance Festival in Korea, the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival, and the Tamaulipas International Arts Festival in Mexico.


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