New Shen Wei work highlights 2012 Spring Dance Concert

SMU dancer Kaily Andriot rehearses 'Five Preludes' for the 2012 Spring Dance Concert

SMU dancer Kaily Andriot rehearses Adam Hougland's "Five Preludes" for the 2012 Meadows Spring Dance Concert. Photo credit: Sharen Bradford.

A new work by groundbreaking choreographer and 2010 Meadows Prize winner Shen Wei will be a marquee feature of SMU’s 2012 Spring Dance Concert. The show, presented by The Meadows Dance Ensemble of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, includes works by three award-winning choreographers and runs March 28-April 1 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

This year’s works include the premiere of Five Preludes, a ballet by visiting artist-in-residence Adam HouglandSong Awakened by SMU faculty member and noted jazz dance artist Danny Buraczeski; and The New You, a world premiere by Shen Wei.

The concert opens with Five Preludes, a neo-classical ballet on pointe set to five Rachmaninoff preludes. Choreographer Adam Hougland, a Dallas native, is principal choreographer for the Louisville Ballet and resident choreographer for the Cincinnati Ballet. He has won both the Princess Grace Award and the Choo-San Goh Award for choreography and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch” for 2011.

Next on the program is Buraczeski’s Song Awakened, a work set to the songs of Cesária Évora, a noted singer of Creole-Portuguese soul music. The work debuted to critical acclaim at New York’s Joyce Theater in 2001; The New York Times wrote that Buraczeski “makes his dancers voiceless musicians who use their bodies, alone and together, to add rhythms to (Evora’s).” The piece is presented in tribute to Ms. Évora, who passed away in December at age 70. Buraczeski, a nationally known jazz choreographer, has received commissions from such organizations as the Walker Art Center, the Library of Congress, and the American Dance Festival. He also has received multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, for whom he is now a regular panelist and consultant.

> A slideshow of 2012 Spring Dance Concert images from Gary Shultz of SMU News

SMU dancers rehearse a Shen Wei world premiere, 'The New You.'

SMU dancers rehearse a Shen Wei world premiere, "The New You." The renowned choreographer created the work during his Meadows Prize residency at the University in 2012. Photo credit: Sharen Bradford.

Following intermission, the Meadows dancers will perform the world premiere of The New You by Shen Wei – an internationally renowned choreographer, director, dancer and designer and the artistic director of New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts. Perhaps best know as the lead choreographer for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Shen Wei created this new work from the ground up during his three-week Meadows Prize residency in January and February 2012.

“This work is about audiences experiencing new possibilities by building and revising systems that are sensed, but not necessarily known,” said Shen Wei. “Art opens doors we never thought had existed and enables us to access previously unknown dimensions. By sensing different art forms, audiences can discover novel structural foundations and embark on a new journey. I hope this experience can offer the students and the viewers an alternative possibility of space.”

Spring Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Free parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley or in the garage under the Meadows Museum. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Written by Victoria Winkelman

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