offoffoff dance



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Dance section
  • Dance main page
  • Dance archive

    Current dance

  • 277DanceProject: This is Heaven to Me
  • A.W.A.R.D. Stars
  • Aaron McGloin: Lamina
  • Aaron McGloin: Native
  • Akiko Furukawa: Room 702
  • Alley of the Dolls [this is not a Sequel]
  • Anchors and Ties
  • Antonio Ramos: Almodovar Dystopia
  • Aretha Aoki and Benjamin Kimitch
  • BAADass Women Festival
  • Banana Peel Dance: Dinner Party
  • The Barnard Project 2010
  • Batsheva: Hora
  • Belinda McGuire
  • Bennyroyce Royon: Chronos Project
  • Bloom: City
  • Body Collider: Bare Knuckle High Fashion
  • Brian Brooks
  • Brian Brooks Moving Company 2012
  • Bryn Cohn: Skin
  • Burr Johnson
  • Chavasse Dance and Performance
  • Chris Schlichting: Stripetease
  • ChristinaNoel and the Creature
  • Chunky Move: Faker
  • Chunky Move: Mortal Engine
  • Cool NY 2011
  • Cool NY 2012
  • Current Sessions: 03Savings
  • The Current Sessions: Volume 1
  • Da-on Dance: Thirst
  • Dance Apocalypse: Solos
  • Dance Gallery 2013
  • Dance Gallery 2015
  • Dance Gallery Festival
  • Dance Gallery Festival 2012
  • Dance Now 2015
  • Dance Now 2019
  • Dance Sampler 2
  • DanceNow 2011
  • DanceNow 2011 Two
  • Dancenow 2012
  • DanceNow 2013
  • DanceNow 2014
  • DanceNow 2016
  • DanceNow 2017
  • DanceNow 2018
  • Daniel Gwirtzman: The Oracle
  • DaOn Dance: Root
  • David Appel and Daniela Hoff: Take Root
  • The Dinner Party: A Whodunnit Cabaret
  • Donnell Oakley Magnificent Marginal
  • Donnell Oakley: Sure
  • DorothyAnnieMaria
  • Doug Varone and Dancers 2017
  • Dumbo Dance 2010
  • Dumbo Dance 2011
  • Dumbo Dance Festival 2012
  • Faye Driscoll: Thank You for Coming
  • Faye Driscoll: There is so much mad in me
  • Faye Driscoll: You r Me
  • Festival Twenty Ten
  • Festival Twenty Ten Too
  • FLICfest 2012
  • FLICfest 2013
  • Fresh Tracks 2010
  • Fresh Tracks 2011
  • Gallim: Sit, Kneel, Stand
  • Gerald Casel: Fluster and Plot
  • Gotham Dance Sampler 1
  • Green Space:
    Take Root

  • Gwen Gussman: Nourishment
  • HATCHed WAX: two to view
  • Heather Olson: Shy Showoff
  • Hilary Easton: The Constructors
  • Hurricane Party
  • Hyperbolic!
  • Jeanine Durning: To Being
  • Jenni Hong:
  • Jody Oberfelder: The Soldier's Tale
  • John Jasperse: Canyon
  • Jonah Bokaer: Rules of the Game
  • Jonathan Pratt
  • Julian Barnett: Sound Memory
  • Julie Bour: Why Now?
  • Katie Workum: Black Lakes
  • Katie Workum: Fruitlands
  • Katie Workum: Herkimer Diamonds
  • Katy Orthwein and Aaron McGloin
  • Keigwin and Wolcott: Places Please
  • Keigwin+Company 2012
  • kerPlunk and Friends
  • Kidd Pivot: Dark Matters
  • Kota Yamazaki: Rays of Space
  • Kyle Abraham: Heartbreaks and Homies
  • Larry Keigwin: Exit
  • Lincoln Center Kenan Fellows
  • lmno3:BANGS
  • Lucy Guerin: Structure and Sadness
  • Lucy Guerin: Untrained
  • Magda and Chelsea: The Vulgar Early Works
  • Mari Meade and Companies
  • Mari Meade and Gierre Godley
  • Mari Meade and Teresa Fellion
  • Mari Meade: Not My Home
  • Mark Dendy: Labyrinth
  • Mark Dendy: NYny Astor Place
  • martha clarke: angel reapers
  • Martha Graham Company 2016
  • The Median Movement: JACK Rally
  • The Median Movement: X
  • Mei Yamanaka Works: Sunflower
  • Merce Cunningham
  • Miguel Gutierrez: And lose the name of action
  • Mina Nishimura
  • MokdessiWagner and Kawamura
  • Nathan Trice: Recognizing Women Project
  • Neta Dance: 2280 Pints!
  • newsteps 2013
  • newsteps 2014
  • Newsteps 2017
  • Newsteps 2018
  • newsteps 2019
  • Nicole Wolcott: 100 Beginnings
  • Nicole Wolcott: Paper Pieces
  • NLD: The Whiz
  • Only Human: Christine Bonansea
  • Ori Flomin: First Move
  • Oui Danse: French Amour
  • Patricia Noworol Dance: Circuits
  • Perforations Festival
  • Performance Mix 2013
  • Performance Mix 2017
  • Performance Mix Festival 2010
  • Performance Mix Festival 2018
  • Petronio 2012
  • Petronio: Underland
  • Pina Bausch: Vollmond
  • ponydance: Anybody Waitin?
  • The Principles of Uncertainty
  • Project RUIN
  • Purchase Company 2013
  • Ralph Lemon: How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?
  • Raw Directions 2012
  • Raw Directions 2013
  • Relative Soul: Two Takes
  • Richard Move: Martha 1963
  • RoseAnne Spradlin: beginning of something
  • Sam Kim: Sister to a Fiend
  • Sarah Skaggs Dance: The New Ecstatic
  • Sarah Skaggs: Roving 911 Memorial
  • Shamel Pitts: Black Velvet
  • Shannon Gillen & Guests: Clap for the Wolfman
  • Shannon Gillen: A Colored Image of the Sun
  • Shen Wei Dance Arts
  • small apple co.
  • Splice: Japan
  • Stephen Petronio 2014
  • Stephen Petronio 2015
  • Stephen Petronio 2016
  • Stephen Petronio: LLD 430
  • Strange Love: Episode 5
  • Take Dance
  • Take Root: Angharad Davies and Amber Sloan
  • Take Root: Mei Yamanaka and Angel Chinn
  • Tere OConnor: Bleed
  • TheCraft
  • This One Goes Out To You
  • Tiffany Mills Company
  • Tiffany Mills: After the Feast
  • Tiffany Mills: The Blue Room
  • Triskelion Collaborations
  • Two at Abrons
  • Two at Dixon Place
  • Tykulsker Cora
  • tykulskerdean
  • Valerie Green/Dance Entropy
  • Valerie Green: Impermanent Landscape
  • Vim Vigor: Forever
  • Walter Dundervill: Candy Mountain
  • Wave Rising 2011
  • William Forsythe at BAM
  • William Forsythe: Decreation
  • Women in Motion 2012
  • Wrought Iron Fog
  • Yoshiko Chuma and Rebecca Lazier
  • Zvidance: Dabke+Coupling
  • ZviDance: Zoom


    Complete archive, 1999-present

    2018-2019 reviews:


    Folding, beginning solo in Shen Wei Dance Arts
    Photo by Stephanie Berger
    Folding, beginning solo

    Gentle Waves and Lightning Bolts

    Shen Wei Dance Arts easily fills the Armory


    Shen Wei Dance Arts put on an intimate show at the Park Avenue Armory; very few people handle scale as well as Shen Wei. Turn half an acre of abstract floor painting into a checkerboard with clear personal spaces? Sure. Make a solo in an even bigger space feel like a tiny dream? OK. Bring audience onto a tradeshow-sized floor that allows each a very personal viewing? Not a problem.

    Choreography by: Shen Wei.
    Dancers: Rachel Abrahams, Kira Blazek, Cecily Campbell, Sarah Chiesa, Evan Copeland, Andrew Cowan, Jessica Harris, James Healey, Daniel Howerton, Jordan Isadore, Kathleen Jewett, Gina Kohler, Cynthia Koppe, Janice Lancaster, Russell Stuart Lilie, Zuzanna Mrozek, Sara Procopio, Carson Reiners, Chelsea Retzloff, Ryoji Sasamoto, Kana Sato, Austin Selden, Nicole Smith, Alex Speedie, Yun Tao, Meg Weeks, Brandon Whited, Joan Wadopian, Shen Wei, Andrew Wojtal, Michael Wright, Yang YiZi.
    Music by: Igor Stravinsky, John Tavenor, S Percussion.
    Sound design by: Lawson White.
    Set design by: Shen Wei.
    Costumes by: Shen Wei.
    Lighting design by: Jennifer Tipton.
    Park Avenue Armory
    November 29 — December 4, 2011

    The large, evocative image of an old European train station that greets incoming audience is the first clever and functional spatial choice of the show. Rather than blast us with the enormity of the space, Shen Wei uses this portal image to welcome us on a journey, with romance and mystery cleanly implied.

    The formal, silent opening of Rite of Spring fuels this feeling of embarking on a ritual, sacred journey. Dancers file in to surround the large square floor painting, three to a side. One by one, each steps into the brushstrokes in a deliberate but apparently random walk, as if the logic of their meandering is quite clear. As the last dancer arrives — and displaces another who may have occupied the wrong space — all commence subtle, pulsing plis with the first, soft piano notes of Stravinsky's music. All of these — hints of ritual, subtle musicality, strange logic and possible humor — are parts of Shen Wei's way. This piece itself, though beautiful, lulled a few to drowsiness with ebbing light and a Philip Glass-like evolution of movement, i.e. small circles of change that overlap and expand over time. Occasional bursts of virtuosity or strangely weighted movement — falling, twisting torsos over feet planted on heels not toes — keep us guessing, but the overall mood is quiet despite all the movement. Subtle syncs between music and movement work well throughout.

    Folding, too in Shen Wei Dance Arts
    Photo by Stephanie Berger
    Folding, too

    Folding is magical from start to finish. It is a butoh-inspired visit to an alien world that ends in a dream. Fast-floating creatures with elongated heads and long red dresses enter from opposite ends to meet in the middle and float away from each other again, as if on important business. Double-bodied creatures in black dresses move far more slowly and variously give birth/mate/separate/divide. All are close to human but also beyond, readable and unreadable. Eerie Tibetan Buddhist chants add to the otherworldly feel, and music by John Tavenor, where deep brassy horn blorts transform to smooth deep cello notes, gives depth and tension as well. The red and black creatures come in slow and unanticipated waves, coexisting but never mixing. And Shen Wei dances a solo that is made a dream by magic tricks with light and space, as he emerges from a large group of red dresses to take a new spot of light and they glacially disappear and float upward, with the help of Jennifer Tipton lighting and Armory drill hall space.

    And Undivided Divided is an excellent title for the newly commissioned piece that follows a second intermission and wraps up the two-and-a-half hour experience with loose ends. Anticipation is palpable as the audience enters the vast and newly unfamiliar space that is laid out in a grid that seems to extend to infinity. Energy in the air spreads contagiously, probably due to the seeping realization that effectively nude performers are lying on their backs in the lit squares of a checkerboard. Pathways separate each square and give the audience inches-away access to every performer. The dark squares of the checkerboard become video screens of vital signs, either heartbeat or ultrasound monitors. And then the human "pieces" switch sides, jumping to the dark squares and beginning to move big and bold, gradually adding bits of paint to themselves and their squares. Scale and structure change in the space beyond the checkerboard, where performers have domain over large plexi cubes in various configurations and there is a long thin landing strip with two or three performers.

    Nudity onstage is always powerful and seems to set off layers of neurons in our tiny animal brains, both connecting us undivided as humans and dividing us into clothed and unclothed, performing and watching. One fascinating aspect is that 95 percent of the time the experience is very neutral and natural — 'oh, people without clothes, what's the big deal after all?' — and then, zap: erotic shockwaves come from one performer — or one audience member, begging all sorts of questions. Who else, if anyone, feels these waves? Are they one-way or roundtrip? Am I powerful or powerless? And then the lights come down and come back up, and people are free to linger or flee.

    DECEMBER 1, 2011

    Post a comment on "Shen Wei Dance Arts"