The Rite of Spring/ Near the Terrace Shen Wei Dance Arts Grand Theatre, HK Cultural Centre Reviewed: October 20 Opening this year's New Vision Arts Festival is a double bill from Shen Wei, one of the most sensational contemporary dance choreographers. Although The Rite of Spring (2003) and Near the Terrace (2000) are different, they illustrate the unique style and aesthetics that are making this US-based Chinese artist famous. Inspired by Fazil Say's four-hand piano version, Shen's The Rite of Spring is a vivid, visual interpretation of the Stravinsky piece. Bar the huge greyish abstract painting (by Shen) that covers the stage floor, the set is stark and monotonous, matching the skeletal structure of the piano score. About a dozen dancers (the men dressed in T-shirts with brushstroke prints) move into position across the stage before the music begins. When the first note is struck, the dancers scuttle from point to point. As the rhythm begins to gather pace, so do the dancers. They swirl, spin and glide like figures in a painting suddenly bursting into life, or paintbrush tips running across a scroll. Shen's choreography is mesmerising, blending western classical and contemporary dance vocabularies with Chinese operatic movement. The segment in which three sets of contrasting choreographies - for a solo, a trio and quartet - are performed simultaneously highlights Shen's creative genius. Near the Terrace is a more sedate affair. The dancers are covered with white powder and most clothed only from the waist down. The pastel green lighting creates scenes reminiscent of a Roman garden populated with marble statutes. This is more a movement than a dance piece, with dancers strolling and rolling, trance-like, to Arvo Part's Fur Alina and then Spiegel im Spiegel. What it lacks in emotion is compensated by its luscious beauty, which Shen dishes out in spades.