MINNEAPOLIS—“It’s very visually stunning. It has very beautiful colors, the music is wonderful. We are enjoying everything about it,” said Sgt. Mark Moss, an Airforce photographer, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts Minneapolis’s Orpheum Theatre.
“And so all of the sensations are coming together. All of the sensations,” Sgt. Moss said.
Sgt. Moss was on a date with his wife, Ruby, a nurse, when the couple saw New York-based Shen Yun on Feb. 23.
The company aims to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture, principally through the vehicle of classical Chinese dance and music. Through the expressive nature of classical Chinese dance, developed over thousands of years, legends of different dynasties are depicted.
Sgt. Moss called the performance “a snapshot of a lot of different places, a lot of different eras, but it’s all coming together very nicely to give us a big picture.”
Naturally, as a photographer, Sgt. Moss was attracted to the visuals in the performance. He mentioned a few of the short dances that captured his attention. “There was one with the skirts all in a rainbow color, and I think that was very beautiful,” he said about ‘Inspired Dance of the Yi.
That dance depicts an folk dance, one of the specialties of Shen Yun, which showcases dances from many regions of China. In this dance, girls of the Yi ethnic group, wearing embroidered hats and rainbow-colored skirts spin to reveal the glory of their costumes, according to the program book.
Sgt. Moss also commented on the digitally animated backdrop. “It adds a lot to it. It is not overwhelming; sometimes it’s just still and it’s ok. Other times you can see the motion. Actually, I like the way that the live action … [where] they melt into the screen and then they fly away or whatever. I think that was very well done.”
The animated backdrop has figures appearing onscreen seemingly come to life onstage when live performers take over their roles.
Mrs. Moss commented on elements of the classical Chinese dance she saw.
“I like the synchronization. I like the athleticism,” she said.
Classical Chinese dance demands rigorous training to master the difficult spins, leaps and aerial flips required.
Mrs. Moss said that she couldn’t understand how the performers managed to do all the athletic moves. “I can whirl once and then get dizzy, and I don’t know how they can do it several times and not get dizzy, so it’s very, very good, and I enjoy it.”
In mentioning the orchestra composed of both Chinese and Western instruments, Sgt. Moss said. “I think that music is always a universal way of conveying, you know, [what] we don’t understand with the words.” He did enjoy that songs in Chinese had lyrics translated and projected on the backdrop.
“It’s very good. The show is wonderful. We are having a wonderful time,” Sgt. Moss said.
“I would highly recommend this to friends and family and hope to come again and maybe bring some family next time,” Sgt. Moss said. “I would bring them back and maybe see again another time.”
Reporting by William Huang and Sharon Kilarski.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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