Second Visit to the Empress (2005) 

Direction, Choreography, Set, Make-up and Costume Design: Shen Wei

Music: Traditional Chinese Beijing Opera

Lighting: Jennifer Tipton

Running Time:  75 minutes

"A hybrid creative process allows the vocalists to engage with other performing arts and expand their capacity in movement and interpretation. These performers, rigorously trained in traditional style, have encountered an entirely different process of storytelling. With the choreography, I have attempted to create a vocabulary parallel to the internal energy, fluctuations, surging tempi, and polyphonic movements of the vocals. Hopefully the cultural communication creates a new way to perform that allows the different sensibilities of Chinese opera music and abstract movement to connect to contemporary people."

—Shen Wei


"A fascinating, ear-stretching leap for anyone attuned to the conventions of Western opera. Yet it may be more accurate to say this production by the New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts altogether redefines opera in any language as a free-form fusion of singing, stylized drama, instrumental accompaniment and, not least, dance."
—Detroit News

"A superb opportunity to enter a rarely seen world, done to perfection by a true artist of the theater."
—News Observer