Shen Wei's total art production "Integrate" started last weekend at the newly-opened West Bund Dome. Why should you care? Cause it’s AWESOME! Those who bought tickets early are lucky because the show is SO popular that it is selling out on many channels.
Shen Wei is one of China's foremost dancers and choreographers based out of New York City. This is some serious talent that directed the whole performance. Some of you may have seen his more famous works like “Scroll” that was featured in the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2008, as well as “Undivided Divided” in New York in 2011.
Shen spent five months alone in Hainan in order to design everything in “Integrate”. The production is sponsored by the West Bund Group and the Center for China Shanghai International Arts Festival. Staff on site told us, they believed that the show will inspire its audience and other performers.
What It Says It Is: “Integrate” describes itself as “live immersive art” that demonstrates “everything is connected”. Sounds alluring? Yeah. Makes sense? Not so much. According to Shen, even if people are unable to understand the philosophy behind it, the experience will be a "sensory feast for all".
What It *REALLY* Is: To simplify the artspeak, it’s three concepts in one: a display of Shen’s creations, including his thoughts, paintings, photography and artworks made from Chinese medicine; dancing clips he took in Shanghai and New York (in the modern sense: vlogs); following an interpretive dance show that reflects his perspective of the world. There are 64 squares on the ground, where 32 topless dancers (girls actually wear nude outfits) smear themselves with colours and spin around. Each individual is just as significant and stands out in a unique way to a background of atmospheric and ethereal sounds - not exactly music. At this point, you really get to know what he means by “everything is connected”.
You can literally remove any distance between yourself and the performers by standing right next to them, or observe more performances at once by stepping back. However, you are required to wear shoe covers and you can't step into their marked dancing zones. Visuals, sounds, together with the dancers, make the process mind-blowing. International art exhibitions and performances like this are what make Shanghai great. Go experience it yourself, because having us describe it with words and photos won't do any justice.
Where This Is Happening: West Bund Dome. It’s that big round building which looks like a huge camp located on Longteng Avenue along the Xuhui riverside, surrounded by other museums in the West Bund group.
The venue is transformed by a cement plant of more than 100 years' history. The interior is totally customized for this show. To understand the scale of this performance and the space, over 500 guests are let in each time.
Who Is Going: People that are into dancing, visual arts and “naked bodies” (who isn’t?); mosquitoes (but don’t worry, repellent bracelets are provided).
When: There are only 10 performances in total from June 11th to June 20th (except June 15th). Shows start at 7.30pm in the evening; On June 19th, there will be two showings at 6pm and 9pm.
Where to Get Tickets: "Integrate" has sold out on SmartTicket and all Chinese ticketing sites.
Interested in similar shows? Something else is going on at Shanghai International Dance Center.