Shen Wei Dance Arts perform Re-Triptych at 2011 Edinburgh International Festival
Five reasons why missing it is not an option
This article is from 2011.
1: The Inspiration
Shen Wei made a personal pilgrimage to Cambodia, Tibet and his birthplace, China to create Re (i), (ii) and (iii). Now the three works have been sewn together to form Re-Triptych, they form a diverse, largely abstract emotional response to his travels.
2: The Man
Born in China, Shen Wei left his family home aged just nine to study opera. After graduating he co-formed China’s first modern dance company, before moving to New York to start all over again, despite speaking no English. Anybody this brave and groundbreaking is surely worth a look.
3: The Music
Each of the three pieces in Re-Triptych has music from a different source: The evocative chants of a Nepalese Buddhist nun in Re (i); Cambodian musicians disabled by war, whom Shen met outside a temple in Angkor Wat, coupled with a beautiful work by John Tavener for Re (ii); and a brand new score by award-winning New Yorker David Lang in Re (iii).
4: The Dancers
Renowned for an ability to express their own individuality as dancers, then come together as a united whole (crucial for Shen’s piece about China), the performers have attracted such adjectives as ‘remarkable’ and ‘incredible’.
5: The Set
Proving there is no end to Shen’s talents, as well as choreographing Re-Triptych, he also designed all the sets and costumes. With the ‘mandala’ in Re (i), made of thousands of pieces of coloured paper, particularly worth of attention.
Re-Triptych, Edinburgh Playhouse, 473 2000, 1–3 Sep, 7.30pm, £10–£30.