Choreographer/Designer Shen Wei Receives 2007 MacArthur 'Genius' Grant

Classic Arts News   Choreographer/Designer Shen Wei Receives 2007 MacArthur 'Genius' Grant
Shen Wei, a Chinese-American dancer, choreographer and visual artist and director of the company Shen Wei Dance Arts, has been named one of the 24 MacArthur Fellows for 2007. The identities of this year's recipients (including soprano Dawn Upshaw) were revealed today by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

A native of Hunan province in China, Shen studied painting, calligraphy and traditional Chinese opera as well as dance. After performing with the Hunan State Xian Opera Company, he became in 1991 a founding member of the country's first modern dance troupe, the Guangdong Modern Dance Company. In 1995 he moved to New York City, where he founded Shen Wei Dance Arts in 2000. He and his company have developed, to wide acclaim, a unique style which fuses elements of traditional Chinese acrobatics, opera and martial arts with Western modern dance vocabulary. Shen continues to be an active painter and often creates the design elements for his dances.

The MacArthur Fellowships (popularly known as the "genius grants") are given annually to support outstanding figures in such fields as history and social science, visual and performing arts, literature and scientific research. The associated cash grants, currently $500,000 paid out over five years, are intended to allow the Fellows to devote themselves to their endeavors without having to worry about making a steady living. MacArthur Fellows are nominated by experts in their fields. One cannot apply for a fellowship and potential recipients do not know they are being considered.

More information about the MacArthur Fellowships and the 2007 Fellows can be found at