PITTSBURGH—Ballet teacher Kristi Gibilisco praised the dancers of Shen Yun Performing Arts who received a standing ovation following their performance in Pittsburgh on Friday.
“They use the music and the costumes, and the dancing on the lines, all of it, the big concept was good all together. It was cohesive,” said Ms. Gibilisco, who teaches at the Pittsburgh Ballet House, which teaches from the beginner to advanced levels.
Shen Yun, whose International Company performed at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, primarily features classical Chinese dance, a form that is both “ancient and highly expressive—capable of embodying the culture of China,” according to the company’s website.
“The technique was good and the dancing was very good,” she said of Shen Yun’s performers, while lauding the choreography. “They were very symmetrical and very acrobatic,” added Ms. Gibilisco.
New York-based Shen Yun strives to bring back thousands of years of traditional Chinese values, using various legends and stories that show divinity of the culture, the company’s website states. Included with each performance is the accompaniment of the Shen Yun Orchestra which combines Chinese and Western instrumentation.
Susan Amorose, a Reiki therapist, described the music as “moving” as well as “very uplifting.”
After watching Shen Yun, Ms. Amorose said she “felt that it gave us an intimate portrait of the Chinese culture that we wouldn’t have otherwise, and [in] a much more animated and culturally significant way.”
The spirituality of the Chinese people depicted in Shen Yun left an impression on Ms. Amorose, she said.
“I thought that [spirituality] really contributed to the uplifting feel of the entire show,” she said, “and I thought that it was wonderful how they blended things that were very earthy with things that were in a spiritual context, particularly given modern China and the concerns thereof.”
“So I thought it was a great thing to open to the public here and to be able to share it with my daughter,” Ms. Amorose added.
Overall, she felt the performance gives the audience a decidedly positive message to take home.
“I thought it was very hopeful and, again, incredibly positive.”
With reporting by Pamela Tsai, Jack Phillips, and Evan Mantyk.
Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will perform in Pittsburg until Feb. 3. 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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