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 Post subject: Shen Wei Dance Arts 2006-2007
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Shen Wei Dance Arts, Joyce Theater, New York
by HILAY OSTLERE for the Financial Times
published: September 27, 2006

For the current season he has revived his 2003 The Rite of Spring, choreographed to a four- hand piano version of the Stravinsky score. Without attempting a sacrificial maiden theme, as in the Nijinsky original, it allows dance to take priority.
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Quote:
Mingling Intense Devotion With Defining Movements
by JOHN ROCKWELL for the New York Times
published: September 28, 2006

The color palette is chalky shades of gray. The dancers — all fiercely virtuosic, starting with Mr. Shen himself — is often floor based, with movements that recall martial arts, break dancing and Chinese opera. There are no lifts, no partnering and lots of running. There is no scenario or sacrificial victim, virginal or otherwise. It’s just dancing and patterns. But the dancing is brilliant, and the patterns are powerfully compelling.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:04 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Springing Into Action
by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice
published: October 2, 2006

In a program note, he mentions finding "body systems and movement ideas" to match what he heard in the music. The composition process involved structured improvisation, the 12 dancers contributing to the skewed imagery — rotating their shoulders, scissoring their legs, twisting one body part against another.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:08 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Seattle press reviews of the Thursday, January 18, 2007 performance of Shen Wei Dance Arts at the University of Washington's Meany Theatre in Seattle. Shen Wei appears as part of the 2006-07 World Dance Series.

Alice Kaderlan in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Seattle P-I

Mary Murfin Bayley in the Seattle Times:

Seattle Times


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
A preview of this weekend's shows in Los Angeles:

Quote:
Shen Wei dancers will leave a mark
Lewis Segal, LA Times

Shen Wei dancers will turn the Disney Hall floor into a painted canvas.There's a huddle onstage at Walt Disney Concert Hall. But the participants aren't singers, instrumentalists or support staff for a music event. They're technical pros, readying the game plan for the hall's first full-evening dance production.

"Connect Transfer," by New York-based choreographer Shen Wei, is scheduled for the first of three performances in the hall Friday. And it's anything but a natural fit. Elsewhere on its current tour, this experimental abstraction is being danced against taut black drapes. But Disney is uncurtained, so a free-standing, trapezoidal black set will be installed where the Los Angeles Philharmonic usually sits. The cost: an estimated $40,000.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:16 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I went to Saturday night's performance, and enjoyed it after a fashion. More overtly intellectual than the pieces I'd seen him do last time, Shen Wei emphasized the movement and the trails created in paint by the movement in one 65-minute piece. Costuming and lighting was minimal in design: it was designed to show what was there rather than be a thing in itself.

What it showed was a mix of the most elegant-looking contact improv you've ever seen, and a melange of exaggerated movements and moments from real life. For example, dancers walk on and off with the characteristic Shen Wei walk, with its articulated heel-ball-toe action. They use a mix of off-balance movements and its accompaniment of corrections to move themselves around the stage, just as the normal process of walking is an imbalance set in motion. Even their hands when they went down to the ground were set: all the fingers were held together all the time, and never splayed apart.

Dancers danced on a large canvas, and would occasionally dip a hand or feet in paint (off-stage), and move across the floor producing smoothly arcing spirals and curves. The most astonishing moment for me was the first time this occurred. In a synchronicity of music, movement, and paint, it was like looking at dance again for the first time as the dancer painted a path on the canvas as the music rose. What a theatrical moment!

Music was a provided by the Flux string quartet and Gloria Cheng playing the piano, and was comprised of Xenakis, Ligeti and a commissioned piece from Kevin Volans.

--Andre


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:48 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
A preview piece explaining the whys and wherefores of performing Connect Transfer in Walt Disney Concert Hall:

Quote:
Shen Wei: Paint meets dance
Laura Bleiberg, Orange County Register

If a dancer spends any time at all thinking about the floor on which he will perform, it's generally in the context of safety. Dancers want a flat, solid and cushioned stage to avoid bodily injury.

Those are concerns, too, for Chinese-born, contemporary choreographer and dancer Shen Wei, leader of the 14-member Shen Wei Dance Arts. But Shen, also a trained painter, views the wide-open floor with the longing of an artist. For him, it is something closer to a canvas, beckoning to be filled. And so in his 2004 dance "Connect Transfer," that's what Shen did – he put canvas on the floor and devised a way for his 14 dancers to deposit pigment on it in the act of dancing. The dance and the resulting painting are an unusual exploration and collision of movement and image.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
A review of Connect Transfer:

Quote:
An indelible impression
Laura Bleiberg, Orange County Register

It's tempting to think of choreographer Shen Wei's "Connect Transfer" as the ultimate "action painting."

That was the name bestowed on the flailing drips of Jackson Pollock and the abstract expressionists of the 1950s. "Connect Transfer" (2004) is a 65-minute dance, one that is both studiously cerebral and, finally, explosively lively. The 14 dancers, who occasionally dipped a glove, or a sock, or their whole back into black, red or blue tempera, left a record of their gestures on the canvas floor in a painting of overlapping circles and blotches. With the audience as its witness, "Connect Transfer" would seem the personification of the action painting.
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edit: there's a video of the piece in this review too, and it happens to be of the moment I thought was most astonishing, but it's lost some of its impact because it's not in context.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:59 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
The LA Times review:

Quote:
Shen Wei's 'Connect Transfer' captivates
Lewis Segal, LA Times

Before she leaves the stage, Procopio convulsively dives, rolls, slides, twists, sprawls and spins down to and up from the floor — weightlessly, almost bonelessly — looking a little like a fish out of water, perhaps, but more like someone who loves whirling between heaven and Earth at every possible angle.

Soon everyone joins the party, occasionally reverting to structural rectitude (formal lineups, for example, or unison mincing steps), and sometimes forming sculptural chains that contrast with freer solos and duets on other parts of the stage. You can read these sections as expressions of the great obsessive theme in recent Chinese dance: social order versus individual freedom.
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