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Dance trilogy 'startlingly imaginative'

     Hailed by The New York Times as "startlingly imaginative," Shen Wei Dance Arts (SWDA) will bring to Hong Kong audiences a dance trilogy Re- (I, II, III) next month (November). This is Shen Wei's first new work since the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.

     This compelling three-part work centres on Shen Wei's impressions of his visits to Tibet, Angkor Wat and the Silk Road. It is the culmination of four years of inner reflection and gruelling rehearsals, demonstrating Shen's position as one of the most accomplished choreographers in contemporary dance.

     Re- I is a stunning ritualistic work in the form of a Buddhist mandala. Confetti drifts and swirls like snowflakes as dancers gyrate to Tibetan chants, gradually creating a state of meditative, spiritually uplifting serenity.

     Re- II takes its inspiration from the temple ruins and trees at Angkor Wat. The performance, a remake of a commission work for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal in 2007, takes a stirring surrealistic approach as dancers tangle and untangle themselves like tree roots stretched against the forgotten temples in the Cambodian jungle.

     Re- III brings to life Shen's trip to the Silk Road and his reflections on his homeland after more than a decade overseas.  Blending contemporary dance with elements from visual arts, philosophy and architecture, among others, the piece uses the Silk Road as a grand metaphor to explore China's future as a convergence of cultures. Featuring an original soundscape that integrates a commissioned score by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang, the multifaceted work ingeniously transcends time.

     Shen Wei Dance Arts, with its new approach to movement and the body for both performer and audience, is described by The Boston Globe, as "Resolutely experimental, amassing a body of works so strikingly original, they defy categorisation ... each one seems radically different from the others – distinctive, yet pushing boundaries in different ways."

     The company, established at the American Dance Festival (ADF) in 2000, made its debut in New York at the Lincoln Center Festival. Since its inception, SWDA has performed in premier festivals on five continents: from Spoleto to Jacob's Pillow, Montpellier to Rome, Mexico City to Sydney. Additionally, it earned return invitations to leading halls and festivals worldwide, including the ADF, Lincoln Center Festival, Venice Biennale, Los Angeles Music Center and Het Muziektheater Amsterdam. In 2007, the company began a five-year residency at the Kennedy Center.

     "Re- (I, II, III)" is one of the programmmes of the Silk Road Arts Festival presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged at 8pm on November 6 and 7 (Friday and Saturday) at Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium. Tickets priced at $120, $200, $280, $360 are available at URBTIX outlets.  A meet-the-artist session will be held after the performance on November 6.  This programme contains nudity.

     Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients.  Discounts of up to 20% are available for full-price performing arts/film programmes of the festival.

     A pre-performance talk will be held at 8pm on November 2 (Monday) at GR2, Level 8, Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Conducted in English, it will be hosted by Shen Wei.  Admission is free and limited seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

     Programme brochures are available at URBTIX outlets and at the website .

     For programme enquiries, please call 2370 1044. Internet bookings can be made on . Credit card telephone bookings can be made on 2111 5999 and telephone reservations on 2734 9009.

Ends/Friday, October 16, 2009


Dance trilogy Re- (I, II, III) centres on Shen Wei's impressions of his visits to Tibet, Angkor Wat and the Silk Road. It is the culmination of four years of inner reflection and gruelling rehearsals.




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