New international collaboration with Naishi Wang

2022 UK R&D photos + Video Trailer by Maya Yoncali

Choreographers Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu come together in a new international collaboration exploring UK/Canada and Brazil/China cultural references related to poetry and vocal traditions of folk music. This cultural exchange creates a powerful physical journey and performance that demonstrates how the body can be used as an extraordinary tool of linguistic expression.

“I seek to utilize the body as a tool to ask profound direct questions about the continual transforming nature of human identity.” Jean Abreu

This duet investigates cultural links, post colonial histories, the embodiment of the migrant experience, and the transforming nature of human identity. Presenting partners are MAI Montréal, arts interculturels (Montréal, lead presenter), National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), and PuSh Festival (Vancouver).

Dance Dramaturg Guy Cools will contribute to the creative development of the work.

“Movement possesses a bodily linguistic identity, which also deciphered in terms of cultural influences: gestures of our ways of talking, our ways of walking, our ways of dancing, our ways of singing, and our ways of relating to the world around us.” Naishi Wang

Deciphers is our new work in development across 2020-2023.

Deciphers is co-produced with the support of the Visiting Dance Artist program (VDA) a joint initiative of the National Arts Centre and the Canada Council for the Arts and was awarded the CanDance Network small scale creation fund.

Photo from Deciphers 2021 R&D Canada @NAC

Photo from Deciphers 2022 R&D UK @Towner Gallery

Photo from Deciphers 2022 R&D UK @Towner Gallery

Photo from Deciphers 2021 R&D Canada @NAC

Artistic Directors and choreographers Jean Abreu and Naishi Wang

Dramaturg Guy Cools (online)

Dramaturg Ginelle Chagnon (live)

Performers Jean Abreu and Naishi Wang

UK Producer Michael Peter Johnson

CA Producer Robert Sauvey

Deciphers (working title) is a co-production of The CanDance Network Creation Fund, Montreal Arts Interculturels, The Harbourfront Centre, the National Arts Centre in Canada and PuSh Festival, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Deciphers (working title) will be developed with the collaboration and support of Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI) and National Arts Centre in Canada.

Full tour announcements soon.

Naishi Wang

Born in Changchun, China, Naishi Wang began his training at Jilin College of Art before moving to Canada in 2004 to attend The School of TDT. He was a company member of Toronto Dance Theatre for nine years, and in 2015 embarked on an independent career.

As an award-winning performer and independent choreographer, Naishi’s development aligns with his belief that the performing arts offer an imaginary perspective, and is interested in pushing the art form in the 21st century. He has collaborated with Berlin-based artist Christoph Winkler, and in 2009 was commissioned by SXM studio in Beijing to create concept-based dance works. In 2018, he premiered his celebrated solo Taking Breath. Naishi is an artist in residency at Citadel + Company in Toronto, and La Serre – arts vivants in Montreal. His collaboration with U.K.-based Jean Abreu is supported by the NAC-CCA Visiting Dance Artist Program.


Photo by Hans Michael Lenz