ATLANTA—At the end of Shen Yun’s opening night, one audience member ululated again and again while others shouted “bravo!’ and “brava!” Audience members leapt to their feet and applauded a long time in the Cobb Energy Centre at the final curtain of the Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company. “As an old professional dancer, I thoroughly enjoyed it, ” said one native Atlantan, Sally Haushalter. “I’m loving the colors.”
Atlanta is perhaps most famous as one of the cradles of the civil rights movement and the birthplace of Martin Luther King. But it is also the cultural and economic capital of the South.
Thus, it is not surprising that Shen Yun Performing Arts has visited Atlanta six years in a row, and this year is offering a four show-run.
The performance has drawn diverse fans. Mayors, artists, journalists, doctors, professors, business people, and adoptive parents of Chinese children have attended past performances.
Ms. Haushalter was celebrating a milestone birthday, and her sister treated her to the classical Chinese dance performance as the beginning of a festive weekend.
Ms. Haushalter was once a ballerina and now is an executive in health care. She is a Regional Clinical Informatics Manager, designing and installing health care records systems in multiple hospitals.
She visited China some years ago and said “I have a real love for the Chinese people.”
The artists of Shen Yun are based in New York. They “draw their inspiration from China’s 5,000 years of civilization,” according to the program. They “believe this rich heritage is a precious gift worth keeping, and worth sharing with all of you.”
The performance includes narrative dances based on Chinese history. “Values such as compassion and loyalty, kindness and bravery lie at the heart of traditional Chinese culture,” according to the program.
Smiling enthusiastically, Ms. Haushalter said, “I’m loving the dancing monkey and the lotus dance, [How the Monkey King Came to Be and Lotus Leaves] it was very good. I’m enjoying it very much.”
Shen Yun creates a completely new show each year. Atlanta was fortunate to host one of the very first performances in December 2006. “Since that time, the company has brought together the talents of world-class dancers, choreographers, singers, and musicians from around the globe.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta, through Jan. 29.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.