HOUSTON—“It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful costumes, amazing work done,” said Ms. Lanell Mantey, executive director of the non-profit Victoria Business and Education Coalition (VBEC), of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ opening show in Houston.
The New York-based company opened to a full house Dec. 26 at the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, the first of ten performances in the city this season.
Ms. Mantey was an educator for over ten years before taking the reins of VBEC to enhance education in her community. Along with connecting the students and community members of Victoria, she is involved in the Victoria Rotary Club, VYSO, Boy Scouts, and the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
“I like the story telling. It makes it interesting and you learn about the culture as well,” Ms. Mantey said. For instance, in the dance When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor, the legend sheds light on a curious feature—the Shaolin monks eat meat, unlike other monks. “You learn … basically how they believe.”
Shen Yun brings 5,000 years of Chinese culture to life on stage via classical Chinese dance, ethnic and folk dance, and bel canto style solo vocalists. Many of the dances include stories from ancient legends to current day issues.
“Just the performance and dance lets you know where the cultures come from,” Ms. Mantey said.
Classical Chinese dance is the accumulation of thousands of years of Chinese history, drawing from a divinely inspired culture and deep foundation of traditional aesthetics, according to the Shen Yun website. What Shen Yun presents has traces of every era and dynasty, from the various regions of China.
With reporting by NTD Television and Catherine Yang.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. The Shen Yun International Company will be performing in Houston through Jan. 1.For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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