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Wen Wei Dance

Wen Wei Wang

OCT. 31, NOV., 2006
Agora de la danse

A presentation of Agora de la danse
in collaboration with Danse Danse

“It is the considered opinion of many Canadian dance mavens that Vancouver’s Wen Wei Wang is one of the most gifted choreographers of the next generation. Born in China, he is a magnificent dancer who cunningly fuses the ballet vocabulary of his training with contemporary dance idioms.” (The Globe and Mail, Canada)

Danse Danse, in collaboration with Agora de la danse, is pleased to present Vancouver’s Wen Wei Dance in its Montreal debut. The newly formed, fast-rising company brings us a piece for six dancers by Wen Wei Wang. Commissioned by CanDance, a network of Canadian presenters involved in creating and presenting dance shows, the work will have its world premiere performance at the Dance Canada Festival in June 2006, followed by a major national tour.

Wen Wei Wang and Wen Wei Dance
Born in 1965, Wen Wei Wang studied dance in his native China and began his career performing with the Langzhou Regional Dance Company. During a 1986 cultural exchange with Canada, Wen Wei Wang taught dance in Vancouver and performed with the Lorita Leung Chinese Dance Company. Back in China the following year, he was awarded a choreography prize in Gansu province. In 1991, he moved to Canada, making his home and pursuing his career in Vancouver. He danced with the Judith Marcuse Dance Company before joining Ballet British Columbia from 1993 to 1995. A year-long stint with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal was followed by a return to Ballet British Columbia, where he stayed until 2000.

While working as a dancer, Wen Wei Wang was also taking every opportunity to build his skills as a choreographer. His Asian-influenced work caused a sensation and was presented by Arts Umbrella, Dance Dreams, the Judith Marcuse Dance Company’s choreographic workshop and Ballet British Columbia’s Mentor Program. In 2000, he was the recipient of the Clifford E. Lee Award to create Snow at the Banff Centre for the Arts. The piece for 14 dancers wowed audiences.

“Most of the audience sat frozen, stunned by the beauty of the ethereal, elegant, exquisite movements throughout the piece, as more dancers cohesively enriched the dreamlike aura.” (Dance International, Canada)

He went on to be a guest choreographer with the Ballet Jörgen Canada, Ballet British Columbia and the Alberta Ballet. In March 2003, Wen Wei Wang danced a solo choreography at the Vancouver International Dance Festival accompanied by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The following June, he set up his own dance company. Soon afterward came Tao, “a carefully crafted, beautifully performed, seventy-minute work” for six dancers. “The complexity of Wang’s vocabulary is a joy to watch: he moves bodies in space with what has become a sophisticated fusion of cultural styles” (The Dance Current, Canada). Tao was restaged in 2004 at Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge Festival, then in three South American cities as part of a contemporary dance festival.

In 2005, Wen Wei Dance presented One Man’s... A solo created and danced by Wen Wei Wang himself, the work will be performed at the Vancouver International Dance Festival and the Dancing on the Edge Festival.

'His full-length One Man’s… was certainly one of the most polished and sophisticated shows at the Edge, replete with a stunning film component [...]. His reflective, methodical, intricate choreography is certainly compelling.” (The Globe and Mail, Canada)

Wen Wei Wang also choreographs for dancers outside his company. In the last three years, his duet with Peter Bingham of the company EDAM, a group piece for the Ballet Jörgen and a solo for Lisa Hostman stand out. His work so far heralds a promising future – keep your eyes out.

February 2006

Photos Chris Randle