Map (2005) 

Concept, Choreography, and Set: Shen Wei

Musical Score: Selections from The Desert Music by Steve Reich

Original Lighting Design: Scott Bolman

Costume Design: Shen Wei and Elena Comendador 

Running Time: 40 minutes

Commissioned By: Lincoln Center Festival


Set to selections from Steve Reich's The Desert Music, Map is a vigorous exploration of various movement concepts developed by Shen Wei. Throughout the piece, Shen Wei investigates the myriad possibilities of rotation in the joints; the varying aspects of bouncing, rebounding and suspension; and movement initiated from the core with energy extending to isolated limbs, leading to solo explorations of this idea. Alternating between metronomic precision and silky fluidity, the dancers, in the end, form a kaleidoscopic map that shifts and unfurls with the pulsing rhythms and fluctuating melodies of Reich's score.


"Map is wonderfully whimsical. It's also one of Shen Wei's most physically powerful works. Endlessly inventive, what's especially striking is the comfy, gooey looseness of the movement. Forty-five minutes of sheer gorgeousness."
—Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post

"Map is a brilliant mesmerizing flow of invention."
—Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe

"Where to look? From the moment Kate Jewett begins to fold and unfold herself on the ground, activating others around her in floor-sweeping unison, the eye never rests, nor does it want to. Through five sections, herd-like formations dissolve and resolve, incarnating the strata of Mr. Reich's score. Loners appear, like the angelic Janice Lancaster Larsen, blowing through like a tumbleweed. A careering circle takes shape toward the end; even several feet away, you can feel the gusts of air that trail the dancers."
—Siobhan Burke, The New York Times

"...a dynamic display of the versatility and ingenuity of a master choreographer. Shen Wei leaves no room to doubt that he is one of the greatest artists of our time."
—Jessica Abejar, Broadway World