Shen Wei

sp11-WEB-Shen-wei-150Shen Wei is a Chinese choreographer, director, dancer, painter and designer, recognized for his innovative blend of traditional Chinese opera, dance and music with Western performance art. Born in Hunan, China in 1968, Shen Wei left home at the age of nine to study with the Chinese Opera. In 1991, he became a founding member of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, the first such company in China. Upon receiving a scholarship from the Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab, Shen Wei moved to New York City in 1995.

Shen Wei was a lead creative consultant for the opening ceremony at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. His work has been performed at the National Theater of Taiwan (1996), The Place Theater (1997), Asia Society New York (1997), Stockholm Dance House (1999), Brighten Arts Festival (2000), the Edinburgh Festival Theater (2000), and the Millennium Moves Festival (Germany, 2000). In July 2000, he formed Shen Wei Dance Arts with performances of Near the Terrace at the American Dance Festival.

In recognition of these achievements, Shen Wei has received numerous awards. He is a 2007 MacArthur “Genius” and USA Prudential Fellow. He has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and the American Dance Festival’s Ben Sommer Fellowship. Shen Wei also received the Nijinsky Award for Emerging Choreographer in 2004, Australia’s 2005 Helpmann Award for Best Ballet or Dance Work, and the 2006 Les Etoiles de Ballet, Palais des Festival, in Cannes, France. In China, he won first prize for both choreography and performance at the 1994 Inaugural National Modern Dance Competition.


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