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This preview has been provided by American Dance Festival.
Shen Wei Dance Arts will kick off the 2015 season with Map (2005) and the ADF-commissioned, UNTITLED #12-2 (2015). The company, founded at ADF in 2000, is celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of producing dazzling works that draw on influences as varied as traditional Chinese culture and arts, European surrealism, American high modernism, and the ritual power of ancient drama. Map, restaged in 2014, now includes a stunning set design with seven immense balloons. Four are globe-shaped and three are cuboid. All are covered with mysterious notations to suggest maps or paths. Set to selections from Steve Reich’s The Desert Music, Map is a glorious exploration of movement possibilities. UNTITLED #12-2 began in Miami at Art Basel where Shen Wei’s paintings provided the inspiration and environment for a dance piece for 12 dancers. The dancers’ movements brought them into abstract compositions that mirrored the paintings surrounding the dance. For ADF, Shen Wei transfers this piece to the stage and expands it beyond the original Miami presentation. With lighting co-designed by Shen Wei and Christina Watanabe and video by Rocco DiSanti, UNTITLED #12-2 promises to be an extraordinary addition to his repertory.
About shen wei dance arts
One of the premier international dance companies, Shen Wei Dance Arts has won worldwide acclaim for “amassing a body of works so strikingly original they defy categorization” (The Boston Globe). The work Shen Wei makes for his company draws on influences as varied as traditional Chinese culture and arts, European Surrealism, American high modernism, and the ritual power of ancient drama. Transcending East and West, Shen Wei Dance Arts fuses these disparate forms to forge a startling new hybrid form of dance. The company’s dances reflect the compositional rigor of Shen Wei the visual artist, dancer, and choreographer—incorporating vivid colors, striking design, and imaginative use of space into theatrical, kinetic paintings.
Since its founding in 2000, Shen Wei Dance Arts has performed in 138 cities, in 30 countries, on five continents and has appeared at prestigious festivals and venues worldwide, including the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Spoleto Festival, annual performances at the American Dance Festival, the Los Angeles Music Center, Venice Biennale, Sadler’s Wells, the Barbican Centre, Het Muziektheater, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Berliner Festpiele and the Sydney Festival. In the United States, Shen Wei Dance Arts has performed in 25 of the 50 states, gave the first dance performances on the concert stage at Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall in Los Angeles and recently completed a unique 5-year performance residency at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The company performs annually in New York City, where it has been presented by the Lincoln Center Festival (5 times), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Park Avenue Armory, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, Asia Society, and Fall for Dance at City Center.
Recent company highlights include performances at the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá in Bogotá, Colombia; the Festival de Danse in Cannes, France; the Ludwigshafen Festival in Germany; Festival Internacional de Artes Escénicas of Lima in Peru; the Ravenna Festival in Italy; week-long engagements at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; a three-city tour of Brazil; and a three-week tour to China with performances at Hong Kong’s New Vision Arts Festival and Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts. The performances in Beijing marked the first time an émigré choreographer was invited to bring his company back to the Chinese Mainland. Upcoming performances include the Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow, Russia; the Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Shanghai International Arts Festival in China; the Capital Museum in Beijing, China; and Miami Dade College in conjunction with Art Basel/Miami.