Celebrated for its “gorgeous visual imagery” (The London Times) and “mesmerizing flow of invention” (The Boston Globe), Shen Wei Dance Arts makes its Chicago debut with two masterpieces by MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning choreographer and visual artist Shen Wei, known for his awe-inspiring choreography for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Folding conjures up a dreamlike world at once ancient and timeless that draws “gasps of wonder and contemplation” from the audience (San Francisco Chronicle). The groundbreaking Rite of Spring, set to Stravinsky’s famed score, brings the fresh eye of the outsider to this well-known music. Shen jettisons all narrative, responding instead with a highly charged abstraction. “The visual and emotional impact is overwhelming,” says The New York Times.

Phone: 312.341.2300 | Box Office: 50 E Congress Pkwy
Groups of 10+ are available now. | Subscription Info

Please note: Artists, programs, and dates are subject to change. Ticket prices may change due to demand.

Dance Master Class | Friday, September 22 | 5-6:30PM
Study with the professionals performing on our stage! Company members from our International Dance Series lead 90 minute master class workshops, allowing dancers to learn the technique and styles performed throughout our season. Register Now!

Saturday, September 23
6PM :: Pizza | 7:30PM :: Performance

$20 tickets before September 15 :: $25 tickets after September 15

Click here to purchase your tickets! Use promo code COLLEGE when buying a ticket to the Saturday, September 23 performance. Students can select any 2 open seats!

Post-Show Q & A | Sunday, September 24
Join us immediately following the 9/24 performance for a 20-minute post-show Q & A session. The Auditorium Theatre Creative Engagement staff will guide the conversation as performers and artistic staff from Shen Wei Dance Arts answer audience questions about their work.



Set to ethereal music by John Tavener and traditional Tibetan Buddhist Mahakala chants, Folding conjures up a dreamlike, surreal world. Against a vast backdrop painted by Shen Wei and modeled on an 18th Century Chinese watercolor by Bada Shanren, dancers glide onto a white, glowing floor, amassing as though called to partake in an ancient ritual, familiar and yet unknown. The otherworldly costumes – dancers clad in long red and black skirts, donning conical headdresses and white make-up (all designed by Shen Wei) – heighten the sense of mystery and ritual throughout the piece. This seminal work by Shen was honored with a 2011 National Endowment of the Arts American Masterpiece Award. 

Rite of Spring

Shen Wei’s groundbreaking Rite of Spring departs from the narrative of Nijinsky’s original ballet and offers a vigorous formal investigation of the pounding chords and rhythms in Stravinsky’s famed score, here performed to the composer’s ​Four-Hand Piano Version of Le Sacre du Printempsarranged by pianist Fazil Say. The dance takes place on a grey and white geometric floor painting. As the music builds momentum, the dancers spiral, spin, and cork-screw effortlessly to the floor.