Wen Wei Wang’s ‘Night Box’ inspired by urban nightlife

Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal will be celebrating its 40th anniversary later this year, but isn’t quite ready to light the candles just yet. Which means that Philly, where the pioneering dance company will offer the world premiere of a new piece by choreographer Wen Wei Wang, gets to crash the party a little early.

Chinese-born but based in Canada, Wang met LBJM director Louis Robitaille while both were dancing for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. His new piece, “Night Box,” was conceived during a weeklong workshop with the company last year. “He transposed action from the nightlife of a big city,” Robitaille says of the piece. “When you’re in a city and look around, many things happen: Somebody’s on the phone, somebody’s talking with friends, somebody is reading, another one is waiting for the bus.?So this piece is all about isolating those actions inside a crowd.”

The new piece shares the bill with the Philadelphia premiere of Aszure Barton’s “Les Chambres des Jacques,” for which Robitaille recalls the choreographer working closely with LBJM’s dancers, isolating individual habits from each.

Robitaille feels that together, the two pieces “represent quite well the personality of the company, which is very energetic, very physical and very dynamic.”

If you go

Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal

Tonight through


Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

3680 Walnut St.

$20-$60, 215-898-3900


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