Deciphers: With Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu


Live on CIUT 89.5 FM

Airing Date: February 7, 2024
Hosted By: Nicole Inica Hamilton

Producer: Nicole Inica Hamilton
Assistant Production Manager:  Amber Downie-Back

Featured Guest(s): Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu


On this episode, Co-performers and choreographers Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu discuss Deciphers.  A work which  explores the complexities of communication through the lens of understanding and misunderstanding, while addressing translation as a linguistic phenomenon centering on the immigrant experience.

About Naishi Wang

Based in culturally diverse Toronto, and born in Changchun, China, mixed with Chinese, North Korean and Mongolian ancestry, Naishi Wang observes and studies the underlying motivations of the body’s movements and the emotions it conveys. Renowned for his exceptional improvisations, which he turns into incarnations of bodily meaning, Wang is also a practicing visual artist. His drawings, which take the form of dances on paper, echo his work in dance.

Wang was part of the MAI (Montréal, Arts Interculturels) program in February 2019 and presented in Halifax and Hamburg, Germany. His solo Taking Breath demonstrated his interest in intimate forms of bodily communication, a subject he takes up again in the duet Face to Face, which focuses on our new modes of virtual communication and the factors that act in concert to convey our intentions in even the simplest exchanges. Wang is collaborating with UK-based artist Jean Abreu in Deciphers and a trio named Eyes, Wide Open. He is an Artist-in-Residency at the Citadel and has been awarded Les Respirations du FTA (2021), Small Scale Creation Fund from CanDance (2021) and Chalmers Arts Fellowship from Ontario Arts Council (2022).


About Jean Abreu

Born in Brazil, Jean Abreu moved to London in 1996 after receiving a scholarship to study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance. He received the Jerwood Choreography Award in 2003 following the creation of his first choreography, Hibrido. Since then, his work has toured throughout the UK, Europe, Brazil and China, including performances for Dance Umbrella, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Royal Opera House and Southbank Centre in London. Abreu’s movement practice comes from his ongoing interest in utilizing the body as a powerful tool to articulate arresting emotional and complex ideas through dance. Creative and digital technology has consistently featured within and challenged Abreu’s varied performance work.

In 2009 he founded Jean Abreu Dance and has since collaborated with influential artists across multiple art forms, including rock band 65daysofstatic for Inside (2010), choreographer Jorge Garcia for Parallel Memories (2011), visual artists Gilbert and George for Blood (2013) and Brazilian sculptor and visual artist Elisa Bracher for A Thread (2016). His work Solo for Two toured across the UK in 2018, with further performances in China and Portugal in 2019. Abreu has taught in renowned dance organizations and universities extensively in the UK and abroad, including London Contemporary Dance School, London Studio Centre, Dance Base, International Festival of Morelos, Roger Williams University, New York University and Balance Arts Centre (China). He is a regular guest artist at Bath Spa University, Portsmouth University, University of Bath, Greenwich Dance and Beijing Dance Academy.