When Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu met in person for first time in November 2021, they had already been collaborating virtually on their new piece, Deciphers, for nearly two years. Just before the beginning of the global pandemic, the two contemporary dance artists were selected for NAC Dance’s Visiting Dance Artist Program, a joint initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and the National Arts Centre (NAC), that supports the creative development and advancement of selected Canadian choreographers by providing professional guidance and immersive, individually tailored residency experiences.
The long-awaited encounter between Nashi and Jean was charged with emotion for both artists, whose individual journeys as dance artists born on opposite sides of the world serendipitously brought them together in Canada’s capital, even during these difficult and uncertain times.
Their work Deciphers reflects the ongoing translation process the artists undertook to express into movement the letters, poems, and images they exchanged with one another while collaborating virtually. Their interpretive and deeply intimate practice creates a piece that is dynamic, constantly evolving, and honest; a representation of the exceptional synergy between Nashi and Jean.
NAC Dance is thrilled to have had the opportunity to welcome Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu and host them for four weeks, and to offer them creative spaces where they were able to explore, discover, and learn from each other. We cannot wait to see Deciphers premiere in front of an audience, but until then, we invite you to peek into their journey and development of this unique project.