CINCINNATI—Tales of ancient lore and modern day courage were blended with vibrant colors, soothing sounds, and enchanting dances as New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts swept through the Aronoff Center for the Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio on Feb. 7.
Among the crowd was Suzette Dutch, managing partner of a venture fund, who said the performance featured “hugely talented performers of just every sort.”
The Shen Yun website states “Shen Yun’s mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day. In less than ten minutes each, Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises.”
Ms. Dutch really appreciated not only the skill of the Shen Yun dancers, but also the diversity of the different performances.
“The talent of the performers is just amazing—the diversity of it, and the cultural story, the fact that they are talking about things that they can’t talk about in China,” she said.
Shen Yun was formed by artists from around the world with a mission to revive the 5,000 years of culture and civilization in China that has been lost under communist rule.
“Forcing atheism upon society, the Chinese Communist Party has for decades launched various campaigns—most notably the Cultural Revolution—to destroy not only cultural sites, temples, and relics, but also the Chinese people’s belief in virtue and faith in the divine,” according to the Shen Yun website.
That lost history and inner spirit is fully brought to the stage during each Shen Yun performance.
Ms. Dutch was clearly impressed by Shen Yun’s dancers, having coached gymnastics and also being experienced with different forms of dance herself.
“I see the athleticism, but just the grace and the beauty, and the costuming…it just is really well put together. I like that it is not just pure dance, but it has a story behind it…that’s pretty emotional, and then there is the comic part, so it can appeal to all ages,” she said.
Chinese dance is known not only for it’s elegance but also for its flips and spins that require hours of rigorous training.
The Shen Yun website explains: “China’s deep cultural traditions are contained in classical Chinese dance, allowing its movements to be richly expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity.”
“Anybody who likes any type of dance, I think, would really enjoy it,” Ms. Dutch said.
With reporting by Valore Avore and Chris Holehouse.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. The International Company is performing in Cincinnati at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, Feb. 7 and Feb. 8. Its next stop is Columbus, Ohio. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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