Shen Wei is back in familiar territory. The Chinese-born artist has received numerous commissions from the ADF, and in fact, started his company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, at the Festival in 2000. This year, the company presented two separate programs in their engagement at ADF, the final performance of the Festival’s 77th season. Friday’s Program A included “Map” (2005), a mathematically precise investigation into Wei’s movement vocabulary; the supremely strange and lovely “Folding” (2000); and the new “Solo by Shen Wei.”
“Map” is a relentless work, impressive in its musical sensitivity and the dancers’ stamina. Set to Steve Reich’s repetitive, mesmerizing “Desert Music,” the dance illustrates the patterning in the score and creates visual patterns through the layering of movement. Reich’s work has a symmetrical form in five parts (ABCBA), and Wei uses each of the sections to build up his movement vocabulary. In each section, the dancers isolate the possibilities, bringing them together before our eyes. The movement is quirky and beautiful, with the fluidity, precision, and sense of spiral that characterize Wei’s work.
Read the rest here.
And stay tuned. I hope to not be quite as silent during the upcoming semester as last year!