American Dance Festival 80th Anniversary Season Primer – Shen Wei Dance Arts

Shen Wei Dance Arts in Undivided Divided, photo by Hai Tau

In eager anticipation of the 9 American Dance Festival commissioned world premiers and 11 choreographer/company debuts in the ADF’s announcement, I am compiling a series of tidbits about the companies, their work to date, and their summer 2013 ADF offerings.

The season opens with the company whose return I am most excited about. I was blown away by Shen Wei Dance Arts in the 2011 season with Limited States, an ADF commissioned work that demonstrated a tai chi quality focus and movement control. Then in 2012 Shen Wei returned to ADF with a masterful performance of Undivided Divided at the North Carolina Museum of Art, where skilled dancers were both the artist and the art. They stayed in motion for the duration of the performance/exhibit, but more impressive to me was the focus they maintained while spectators walked by at close range, stopping to look and then moving on to the next dancer’s palette.

Shen Wei Dance Arts in Undivided Divided, photo by Hai Tau
Shen Wei Dance Arts in Undivided Divided, photo by Hai Tau

This season’s performance will include an ADF commissioned work from 2000, Near the Terrace (video below), inspired by Belgian surrealist painter Paul Delvaux and an ADF commissioned world premiere, Collective Measures. Read more about these works here.


Durham Performing Arts Center

Thursday, June 13 at 7 pm

Friday, June 14 at 8 pm

$52, $44, $24, $18

Tickets on sale May 13

You can see the full calendar of ADF performances here.

By Denise Cerniglia

Postmodern experientialist of the arts. Follow my public posts on Facebook at to keep up with mostly dance, some opera and classical music happenings. Also, visit my dance photo blog at