Hot List: Shen Wei

5.17.2009

By Joshua David Stein

2009 may be the Year of the Ox in the Chinese lunar calendar, but to those in the dance world, it's the year of Shen Wei. In 2008, the choreographer, a native of Hunan but a New Yorker for the last 15 years, choreographed the best part of the Olympic opening ceremony, where dancers, using their bodies as brushes, painted calligraphy on a giant canvas. This year, Wei debuts Re- (I, II, III), an evening-length work that chronicles his lengthy journeys through Tibet, Cambodia, and the Silk Road. The project has been 14 years in the making and includes a stage-size mandala made from shredded paper (part I); a massive human tableau inspired by Angkor Wat's temple carvings (part II); and an orchestral score made of 'found material' (part III). The triptych premieres at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C., in June and in New York at Lincoln Center July 9'11.

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