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Shen Wei Dance Arts to Present Connect Transfer II At Historic Judson Memorial Church December 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th

Posted Nov 14 2008 3:03pm
The following is a press release announcing a new performance choreographed by Shen Wei, the choreographer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony:

New York, November 10, 2008 – Shen Wei Dance Arts will offer New York audiences a first look at Connect Transfer II, a new version of the landmark dance that inspired Shen Wei’s contribution as lead choreographer to the ’08 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremonies which will tour modern art museums internationally beginning in the Fall of 2009, it was announced today by Brett Egan, Executive Director of Shen Wei Dance Arts. Performances will be in the historic Meeting Room at Judson Memorial Church on December 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th, set in-the-round to live music performed by New York favorites FLUX Quartet and pianist Stephen Gosling.

The opening night gala on December 3rd will honor lighting designer Jennifer Tipton and each performance will include a pre-show film about the Olympic creative process and a post-show silent auction of the evening’s painted canvas, with sections selected live by Shen Wei.

Connect Transfer I is arguably Shen Wei’s most recognizable work. Connect Transfer II is a concentrated 45-minute version of the original, which emphasizes connections between bodies — through joints, centers, momentum, and energy —and the transfer of that energy from one body to the next through continuous, often improvised movement. Using the backdrop of a rigorous four-hand piano score by Ligeti and Xenakis and Kevin Volans’ String Quartet Number 6, the movement literally connects music, dance and visual arts, as dancers immersed in multi-colored paint, transform the stage floor from blank canvas to textile art.

Connect Transfer I premiered in 2004 at Lincoln Center Festival and was hailed by Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times as “An ingenious synthesis of dance, music and visual art”.

“The investigation of everyday movement that came out of Judson Dance Theater has informed countless dance-makers, including Shen Wei. With Connect Transfer II, we return to the heart of the original work to further explore its essential ideas in a raw environment, without elaborate lighting or theatrical effects. We present this new version as it would be found in a modern art gallery or museum, drawing focus to its integration of dance, visual art and music. With these performances in the historic Meeting Room, including an Opening Gala honoring our esteemed colleague Jennifer Tipton, we hope, in some small way, to contribute to an important dialogue which began at Judson and continues today,” says Brett Egan, Executive Director of Shen Wei Dance Arts.

“Judson’s remarkable history as a home to innovative, cross-disciplinary artists is humbling, and it is an honor to present our work to audiences there. With Connect Transfer II, I have tried to move the form in new directions, in dialogue with a community of artists in diverse fields,” adds Shen Wei.

Born in China at the end of the Cultural Revolution, Shen Wei is now an US citizen and NYC resident. A choreographer, painter and photographer, Shen Wei creates all the costumes and sets for the company’s repertoire — acclaimed for its idiosyncratic vocabulary and breathtaking scenic elements — which include Folding (2000), Near the Terrace (2000), Rite of Spring (2003), Map (2005), Re- (Part I) (2006), and Second Visit to the Empress (2007). Shen Wei is a 2007 MacArthur “Genius” and USA Prudential Fellow. He has also received the Guggenheim, New York Foundation for the Arts, Nijinsky (Monaco), and Etoiles de Ballet (Cannes) Awards. In 2008, National Public Radio named him a “Choreographer to watch”.

Said Lewis Segal of The Los Angeles Times “The big news about Connect Transfer concerns Shen Wei’s reinvention of the dance vocabulary: the way the movement impetus flows from any point in his dancers' bodies to any other, bypassing every convention of dance-as-steps or choreography as a predominantly vertical statement.”

Pianist Stephen Gosling enjoys a varied career as soloist and chamber musician with a focus on the music of our time. He earned his Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees at the Juilliard School, during which time he was awarded the Mennin Prize for Outstanding Excellence and Leadership in Music and Sony Elevated Standards Fellowship, and was featured as concerto soloist an unprecedented four times.

Mr. Gosling is currently a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso, Manhattan Sinfonietta, American Modern Ensemble and Ne(x)tworks, and a frequent guest artist of many other groups, including the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bang on a Can, and Speculum Musicae. His work has garnered consistent critical acclaim, and he was profiled by the New York Times in October 2005.

Mr. Gosling has performed throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, and made over 30 recordings.

Connect Transfer II is set in-the-round to live music performed by Stephen Gosling and Flux Quartet. Performances are on December 3rd (Gala Opening at 7:30 pm); December 5th at 7:30 pm; December 6th at 2:00 and 8:00 pm, and December 7th at 7:00 pm. Tickets which include both seated and standing viewing positions on four sides in a “gallery” style setting range from $18-$100 (Gala tickets at $250 and $500). Rush tickets are available one hour prior to curtain for $15. The evening includes a pre-performance film about the Olympic creative process and a post-performance silent auction of the evening’s painted canvas, with sections selected live by Shen Wei.

There will be a post-performance reception for VIP ticket holders on December 3rd and 5th and a Junior Gala Party for patrons 40 and under following the performance on December 6th in the Judson Gym. For more information call Shen Wei Dance Arts 212 962-1113, Tickets at and 212 868-4444.

Stay on your toes,


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