THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—Tickets sold out a week before Shen Yun Performing Arts arrived at the Fred Kavli Theatre for the Performing Arts Jan. 22. Some audience members were overheard in the hallways of the theater saying they had waited years to see Shen Yun.
Actress Natasha Zavala saw it for the first time. She said, “I loved the show. I loved the culture.”
Mrs. Zavala graduated from the University of Theatre Arts in Kiev and performed with the Academic Theatre of Russian Drama before moving to Los Angeles to work in television. Fine performing arts are important to her. She said, “I’m born and raised in Russia. I love the ballet dance [and] art.”
She expressed enthusiasm for Shen Yun.
“I’m really excited to see it,” she said. “I read a lot [about] this. That’s why I came. Right now I’m just really, 100 percent, [this is] just what I expected.”
Shen Yun involves you in this story that they just want to portray on the stage, Ms. Zavala said.
Shen Yun is a New York-based classical Chinese music and dance company that tours to 100 cities around the world each year. Its narrative dances are snapshots of Chinese history, or of Chinese myths and legends.
Mrs. Zavala felt engaged while watching the stories.
She said Shen Yun “involves you in this story that they just want to portray on the stage.”
“That’s what’s really interesting, the way they approached it,” she said. “It’s not only dancing but also the story behind, it’s really evolving a lot of aspects of culture and drama.”
A major feature of Shen Yun is the projected backdrops. “With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Mrs. Zavala said she was impressed. “That’s amazing, too. It’s actually very refreshing instead of just the dance to see. The background [is] just really colorful and inviting you in the world of the dance.”
Mrs. Zavala said she was impressed with the Mongolian Bowl Dance.
“That Mongolian dance is really, really amazing,” she said, because it includes “interesting moves besides the synchronization of the movements of the whole group as one. It’s just amazing.”
The She Yun Performing Arts Orchestra combines a Western philharmonic orchestra and traditional Chinese instruments. Mrs. Zavala said, “The orchestra really complements the dances. It’s just moving along with the dancers and [is] kind of just continuous—[the] movements with the music. It’s just really seamless.”
She said she felt that, after watching Shen Yun, she wanted to see more.
She recommends other experience the performance. “I would say just come and see the show. Whatever the chance you have, you have to see it at least once to be introduced to the culture.”
Shen Yun Touring Company will be in Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, The Fred Kavli Theatre Thousand Oaks, California, Jan. 22-23, 2013, then going onto Dorothy Chandler Pavillion Los Angeles, Jan. 25-27, 2013.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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