Discovering Common Ground Through Dance

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The Deciphers (Naishi Wang)
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The Deciphers (Jean Abreu)

Over the past many weeks and months, the NAC Dance team has been working hard to offer programs aimed at keeping dance at the forefront of people’s minds and hearts. Now in its third year, the NAC Dance Visiting Dance Artist program is doing just that.

The Visiting Dance Artist program is a joint initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Arts Centre, which supports the creative development and advancement of Canadian choreographers by providing immersive, individually tailored residency experiences.

For this third cycle of the Visiting Dance Artist program, choreographers Naishi Wang (Canada/China) and Jean Abreu (UK/Brazil) are joining forces on a collaboration called The Deciphers. With their unique immigrant identities and perspectives, they are creating “a physical poem in motion” using cultural references from poetry and vocal traditions from folk music.

As with many collaborations these days, Visiting Dance Artists Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu's work together has been entirely virtual. Since beginning their residency in the spring, they have managed to engage in the creative process together while remaining physically apart. Although this was not how they had envisioned their creative residency unfolding, Naishi and Jean have commended the NAC its commitment to “support and encourage our dialogue” by enabling the exchange of weekly exercises, discussions and insights.

Naishi and Jean say, “For us, this residency is the beginning of another cycle of transformation and discovery. In a period in which the whole world is facing an unprecedented shift with an unpredictable future, opportunities like the Visiting Dance Artist program become ever so precious and a lifeline for artists.”

The two choreographers look forward to meeting for the first time in-person at the NAC in February 2021.

“As dance artists, most of all we hope to connect to real spaces and real people—to begin to process our contained desires and release all the feelings accumulated during these recent times. We have no doubt that the emotional charge of the recent events and the effect of world isolation will find its way into our creation as we move forward with it.”

Your generous donations to the National Arts Centre helps exciting dance artists like Naishi and Jean develop new work that reflects shared stories of our time. Thank you for your contributions!

The Deciphers is a co-production of The CanDance Network Creation Fund, Montreal, arts interculturels, The Harbourfront Centre, the National Arts Centre and, PuSh Festival, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.​

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