Rite of Spring | B.E.R.L.I.N. | Re- [Part II]

Shen Wei Dance Arts


Rite of Spring | B.E.R.L.I.N. | Re- [Part II]

© Koen Broos

  • 1 h 30 min, one interval

Past Dates

Fri 17 December approx. 21:45, Bornemann Bar
Audience discussion with Shen Wei
Moderation Brigitte Fürle

Shen Wei Dance Arts of New York has created interdisciplinary cross-cultural dance theatre since its inception in 2000, incorporating visual and storytelling elements from the theatre, Chinese opera and contemporary visual arts. Shen Wei developed the movement vocabulary of Rite of Spring entirely from the rhythmic and melodic qualities of Stravinsky’s composition rather than the story it tells. The choreographer’s interest in abstraction was matched by the piano version of the score by Fazil Say. His aim was a firm structure which could maintain a balance between precisely set movements and the intuition of the individual dancers – thereby including moments which are accidental and beyond control.

The solo B.E.R.L.I.N. is based on the relationship between the vocabulary of Shen Wei’s Natural Body Development dance technique and the combination of numbers and letters that relate to the city of Berlin.

Re- [Part II] was inspired by a journey Shen Wei made to the Cambodian temple complex Angkor Wat. The piece reflects his impressions of the local landscape. Sounds and images of the surrounding jungle are incorporated into the performance as well as traditional music played by the local Moon Light Band.

»A vivid fusion of East and West, of Chinese opera and modern dance informed by the keen eye of a painter… Limbs slice and slash, often rotating almost backward from fantastically flexible hips and shoulders. Moments of solitary lyricism and breathtaking suspension contrast with sections of powerful massed momentum… riveting.«
The Boston Globe

Rite of Spring

Choreography, stage and costumes Shen Wei
Lighting design David Ferri
Music by Igor Stravinsky [Le Sacre du Printemps Piano Four-Hands, played by Fazil Say]

CW for the American Dance Festival with support by Philip Morris Companies Inc., Doris Duke Awards for New Work, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
Premiere 7 July 2003, American Dance Festival, Durham [North Carolina]


World premiere
Choreography, stage and costumes Shen Wei
Music Cosmos “Untitled”
Dance Shen Wei

Re- [Part II]

German Premiere
Choreography, stage and costumes Shen Wei
Lighting design Jennifer Tipton
Music by John Tavener [Tears of the Angels]
traditional music from Cambodia, original recordings by Shen Wei
Noices and pictures recorded by Shen Wei on Angkor Wat temple site
Projections Shen Wei and Daniel Hartnett

CW for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, Gradimir Pankov, Artistic Director
Premiere 15 March 2007, Theater Maisonneuve, Montreal


Dancers Javier Baca, Cecily Campbell, Hunter Carter, Sarah Chiesa, Evan Copeland, Andrew Cowan, James Healey, Kathleen Jewett, Aaron Burr Johnson, Cynthia Koppe, Sara Procopio, Joan Wadopian, Adam Weinert and Brandon Whited