August 10, 2008

Shen Wei

UPDATE... A comment by the director of this dance group links to a must-see video... go to the second one, the first is no longer available. I couldn't get music with my viewing but the movements say it all... Thanks Brett!

Watching the opening night ceremonies in Beijing, my mind boggled with not only the concepts but the executions of so many ideas... so beautifully done. Then on CBS's Sunday Morning (quality TV!) we're introduced to Shen Wei, the choreographer. As I write this I'm searching for video of the particular dance that leads to this post but can only find these stills of the huge scroll ink painting performed by just a few dancers, compared to the huge numbers in the most photographed segments. It was mesmerizing on opening night... and moreso as CBS focused on the dancer/dancers involved... incredible!

So... back to me... my bokusho technique is to mimic the studied masters on fairly large rice paper, focusing on the brush, the move, the result... then to rip it into squares, mix them up and go from there. Would that I was still agile enough to do it Shen Wei's way! On his site, he shows a performance which involves smearing the dancers with paint (Yves Kline, anyone?) and having them create life size bokusho paintings... oooh, that would be fun! The dance/painting in Beijing only involved the hands of the dancers... covered with ink loaded 'socks'. The movements were beautifully stunning!

Image from Shen Wei's web site, not part of Opening Ceremony


Martha Marshall said...

This is beautiful. I know this must have really connected for you. Since we missed both this show and the opening ceremonies, I'm going to see if American Morning has online archives. Probably.

Martha Marshall said...

I meant to say Sunday Morning!

Anonymous said...

Dear Karen,
You and your readers can find clips of Shen Wei's work, Connect Transfer, that influenced his work for the Olympics here:

Thanks for the thougtful post and stay in touch!

Brett Egan
Executive Director
Shen Wei Dance Arts