Wen Wei Wang’s Dance Lab

Monday Magazine's dance guru Monique Salez sits down with choreographer Wen Wei Wang.

A good choreography is like a well-executed recipe, offers celebrated choreographer Wen Wei Wang. It is about “how it is put together, if it has good flavours, good presentation and makes you want more.” When asked if he has a choreographic philosophy or method Wen Wei stops…thinks…says “that’s a big question” then definitively answers, “No.” “The thing is it comes naturally from each person. As creators, there is no formula. We all want to try something different, to have our own voice.” In discussion with the acclaimed director of Wen Wei Dance regarding his upcoming first ever Choreographic Lab hosted by Dance Victoria, I ask how he plans on encouraging or drawing out the personal creative voices from the three selected emerging choreographers – Ralph Escamillan, Angela Mousseau, and Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien. “That is the challenge”, he offers, “I am not teaching choreography. I can give them ideas and question them, maybe ask them to try something uncomfortable” but ultimately the goal is to find a way “they can open and learn to allow them to discover who they are as an artist and what they want to do.” Born and raised in China, where he started dance at an early age and trained and danced professionally, Wen Wei moved to Canada in 1991 joining Judith Marcuse Dance Company then Ballet BC for seven years. He is excited to have the opportunity to play a new role as curator in this unique two week intensive. Personally, Wen Wei sees this as a venue to “continue to learn, see who I am and what I know and don’t know. When you walk into the studio you don’t know what will happen. Sometimes you walk in with nothing and great things happen. Sometimes you prepare a lot and in the end, it is really bad. It is like life.”

Unlike the life of most emerging choreographers Dance Victoria has created a unique experience by providing studio space, six paid emerging dancers and an incredible mentor to help their creative experiments and queries take flight. Bravo to Stephen White executive producer at Dance Victoria and his inspired team for having the vision to support dance from the roots on up. I am truly looking forward to seeing the results of this creative laboratory. For more information visit dancevictoria.com

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