CriticalDance Forum

Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005
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Author:  Andre Yew [ Sat Mar 20, 2004 12:12 am ]
Post subject:  Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

I just returned home from Shen Wei's opening night in Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion where they performed Rite of Spring and Folding. Holy smokes! What amazing and creative choreography danced by such committed dancers, with each piece so different than the other. Rite had sensuously mechanical organization of the dancers and movements (especially the female dancer who started out Part II with those amazing articulate hands and arms), while Folding was just otherworldly and gave us a look at a truly new space. Both pieces were dramatic, theatrical, and original. I'll try to write more as I gather my thoughts, but if they're in your area, go see them!


Author:  Azlan [ Sat Mar 20, 2004 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Darn... Unfortunately I won't be able to catch them at all. We've got too much high-quality dance going on in the SF Bay Area right now.

Author:  Andre Yew [ Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005


Tell me about it! I had several Bay Area and Seattle performances marked on my calendar, too, but March just happens to be very rich everywhere. I hope our friends in the Socal area got to see them, and will comment.


Author:  Andre Yew [ Sun Mar 21, 2004 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Segal makes an interesting point below about visual arts and dance, but I don't think I agree with it at all. I also wonder who writes the headlines.

With Shen Wei, it's 'Let's get visual'
Lewis Segal, LA Times

Rigorously stylized and modulated contemporary dancing dominated by a sophisticated sense of spatial design: That's Shen Wei Dance Arts, the New York-based company that made its local debut on Friday with a two-part program at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Like Taiwanese choreographer Lin Hwai-min of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, British modernist Siobhan Davies and too many midranked others, Shen Wei seems to approach dance as a visual art — and it isn't. It's a physical art, one that may bedazzle us visually but achieves its deepest impact when it stimulates our muscle-memories, our body awareness or kinetic subconscious, if you like.
Each took Stravinsky's mighty score in a provocative direction to something like a dead-end, ultimately failing to physicalize its extremes and grimly confirming the adage that two wrongs don't make a "Rite."
more (requires paid subscription)

Author:  Andre Yew [ Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

There's an evocative photo in the article as well.

Dimensions help cast a surreal spell
Laura Bleiberg, Orange County Register

Dance is a multidimensional art form, but it's a rare choreographer who knows how to, or is even interested in, creating in all dimensions at once.

Very few can instinctively weave their kinetic imperatives with a total spatial design, making something bigger than the sum, engaging the entire proscenium space.

Shen Wei is one of those few. The two dances his company presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Friday night (part of the Music Center's dance season) were sensory and sensual wonders.

Author:  Andre Yew [ Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Someone at the LA Times ought to be reprimanded. :mad: First the silly headline, and then a bush-league caption in their print edition version of the review above identifying a dancer in a picture as "Dancers, such as this one, ...", when the dancer in the picture is Shen Wei himself.

I suppose I ought to be thankful that the Times still has fairly extensive coverage of dance.


Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Perennial Beauties and Fresh Tracks

The Village Voice
July 26, 2004

In Connect Transfer, Shen Wei combines his twin interests—choreography and painting—in a way that goes beyond creating dances and canvases.
more in the second part of the linked article

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Aug 14, 2004 7:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Here's an interview from the July issue of our magazine:

Swimming Rite - Interview with Shen Wei

by Donald Hutera, Ballet-Dance Magazine

Born in China, and with an extensive background in Chinese Opera, 36 year-old Shen Wei has lived in New York City since 1995. He is a painter and choreographer, as well as a performer in his own young company, Shen Wei Dance Arts. Umbrella is bringing a contrasting pair of his works to London. <a href= target=_blank>more</a>

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

A review from the SF Bay Area performances:

A painter's gift shows in Shen Wei's dance

Rachel Howard
SF Chronicle

About two years ago, it seemed every dance presenter in the country was clamoring to book Shen Wei Dance Arts. <a href= target=_blank>more</a>

Author:  Andre Yew [ Fri Oct 01, 2004 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Any comments from our Bay Area members?


Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Shen Wei Dance Arts

By Jill Sykes
Sydney Morning Herald

Two contrasting works by Shen Wei and his company illustrate the extraordinary skill and imagination of this Chinese American in creating dance and moving images. <a href= target=_blank>more</a>

Author:  kurinuku [ Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Nature's helping hand to debut choreographer

the Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney, which he sees as a half-Asian, half-Western city, would be perfect for his newest work, based on Chinese and Western opera, he says. Its extrovert, physical vibe, he believes, would also suit another work where paint-splattered dancers roll on a canvas, creating a giant Jackson Pollock-style painting.

Author:  kurinuku [ Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Rapturous focus on body in space

the Australian

SHEN Wei is a dancer, a choreographer, a set, costume and make-up designer, and a painter. Of all those things, he is undoubtedly first and foremost a painter.

His Rite of Spring is a study in shape, volume, patterns and texture. The viewer gets to decide what meaning, if any, to derive from it.

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2004-2005

Rite of Spring; Folding

the Age

He avoids any narrative references, relying entirely on choreographic craft to create a visual and temporal swirl of forces, set to Fazil Say's startling four-handed piano interpretation of the score.


Shen Wei strategically positions movement in contrasting or complementary blocks. Dancers coalesce in tight ensembles or dissolve and disperse into individual obsessions with particular movements. At one particularly savage moment in the score, the dancers are almost motionless, manifesting barely visible twitches, as if the massive energy of the music paralyses them.

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:15 am ]
Post subject: 

Shen & Vicinity
in the New York Times

The Chinese-born, New York-based choreographer Shen Wei says he's dissatisfied with dancing that's just "pose, pose, pose." That dissatisfaction has driven him to develop one of the more distinctive, and difficult, dance techniques around.

published: July 17, 2005

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