Dance

Check out Shen Wei’s latest collaboration with Nowness

Private View: Everything is connected (2019)

Having amassed a reputation as one of the world's most strikingly original international dance companies, Shen Wei Dance Arts are headed by one of the dance world's most creative minds, Shen Wei - the eponymous choreographer behind the company. Here they unveil an explosive new retrospective performance that interacts with the gracefully hanging works of art housed in Shanghai's blockbuster The Power Station of Art, in a building that once served as a power station. This is a gallery tour like no other, filling the gallery's previously reflective halls with bodies moving with the ferocity of an abstract painting. Since its founding in 2000, Shen Wei Dance Arts has performed across the globe, including at the Venice Biennale, Los Angeles Music Centre, Sadler's Wells, and at Frank Gehry's Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Across their oeuvre, the company has built close ties with the world of visual art; celebrating the creative bridges between the worlds of dance and the plastic arts. "A true polymath of the creative spectrums, Shen Wei has spent a life-time studying the nuance and philosophies of bodily movement and its transposition into other forms" explains Jim Demuth, who shot this powerhouse performance. "Of course at NOWNESS we are constantly in thrall to the study of art practice, so to be able to get a glimpse inside the world that Shen Wei and his wonderful company have been developing with such love, inclusivity and endless curiosity was not only an honour, but a lesson in humility and a celebration of the true nature of creativity itself."

Professional Experience

Right out of school I toured China with Jerry Pearson's Santa Barbara Dance Theater. After visiting New York City in 2008, I was asked to perform with David Dorfman Dance in Weather Underground at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. David was an adjudicator at ACDF Montana and an important mentor for me when I transitioned to the city. Performing with him gave me the confidence to make the move. I met so many people and was able to find my feet pretty quickly.

My first job in New York was a national tour with Hudson Vagabond Puppets, a children's theater company. Simultaneously, through a work study agreement, I was able to train daily with the unparalleled Christine Wright. I auditioned for countless dance projects and finally landed work with Bronwen MacArthur and Bryan Senti in From the Margins, This, Unmentioned (2009).

I auditioned for Shen Wei Dance Arts and was asked to apprentice in the Fall of 2009 and then again in the Summer and Fall of 2010. After a tour to Berlin in December of 2010, I started officially dancing with the company. Since that time I have toured the world performing in some of the biggest dance festivals in the most prestigious opera houses. Highlights include Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, Howard Gillman at BAM, NY City Center, The Park Avenue Armory, "The Egg" - NCPA in Beijing, Palais des Festival de Cannes, Tel Aviv Opera House and Theatro Municipal do Rio De Janiero. I have been lucky enough to perform Shen Wei's signature pieces Rite of Spring, Folding, Near the Terrace, Map, Connect Transfer and Re-Tryptic. I was part of the creation of Undivided/Divided, Collective Measures and Untitled 0-12. For Shen Wei's most recent work Neither, I was able to work directly with Shen Wei creating movement and assisting in company rehearsals throughout the development of the piece. In 2016 I was asked to be the Education Director and the Company Manager in addition to dancing with the company. I currently work with Shen Wei on projects and performances as his work transitions to include more of his paintings and gallery openings.

Last year I performed with Christopher Williams Dance in Wolf-in-Skins in NYC and Philadelphia as well as with Glitter Kitty Productions at Green Space and Theater For the New City. I'm in the process of making a new work with choreographer Tonia Shimin called Walk with Modigliani. Soon I hope to perform the piece in NYC and abroad. 

Education

University of California, Santa Barbara

B.F.A in Dance

B.A. in Chemistry with Distinction 

Awards: Daniel G. Aldrich Outstanding Student for the class of 2007

Trained with Nancy Colahan, Tonia Shimin, Stephanie Nugent, Christopher Pilafian, and Valerie Houston. Performed Jane Dudley's Harmonica Breakdown with the Senior Company 2007.


Interviews

Black, White and Gray - Art Basel Miami CCTV-America

Map - Judson Church SWDA 2014

Videos

Neither - In Process Rehearsal DTH 2016

Black White and Grey - Art Basel, Miami BBC 2014

Dance Strokes - Art Basel, Hong Kong Asia Society 2016

Neither - Purchase College Sinovision 2017

Site Specific Re-II - Berlin, Germany 2010

Reviews

Neither at ADF Byron Wooks Indy Weekly 2018

Neither Review Anna Kisselgoff Ballet 2000

Neither at BAM New York Times 2016

Making Art Move Dance Magazine 2015

Rite of Spring - Lincoln Center with PTAMD New York Times 2015

MAP - Celebrate Brooklyn New York Times 2014

Undivided/Divided - Yerba Buena Center for the Arts SF Gate 2013

Undivided/Divided - Kennedy Center Washington Post 2013

Shen Wei Dance Arts : Park Avenue Armory New York Times 2011

Still Moving at the Metropolitan Museum NYC Vogue Italia 2011

Still Moving at the Metropolitan Museum NYC WSJ

 
 

 

Early Training

The Studio of Dance Arts under the direction of Jane Morgan.

California State Summer School of the Arts (CSSSA) - Governors Arts Scholar 1999

Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC 2000

Lines Ballet Summer Program 2001

Photo by Cheryle Easter

Side Note: One of my favorite moments on tour so far was when Christina Muti called me "Petrushka" after a performance of Near the Terrace and Rite of Spring at the Ravenna Festival,