ROCHESTER, NY—On Sunday afternoon, Rashad Bernard invited his mother out to enjoy Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Rochester Auditorium Theatre.
They were both in for a treat.
“I just feel happy to experience and share the experience with everybody else,” said Mr. Bernard, owner of a couple of small businesses.
“I loved it. I thought it was just spectacular,” said his mother Eunice.
Renowned as the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, Shen Yun was established in 2006 by a group of overseas Chinese artists with a “mission to revive the true, divinely inspired culture of China,” according to the company website.
Passed down throughout history, classical Chinese dance contains within it China’s rich cultural traditions, and, alongside ballet, is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
After seeing the dancers, Mrs. Bernard said she wished she could dance.
Her son was also impressed by the artistry.
“I actually like the way that the ladies glide across the stage and look like they’re just floating from side to side,” he said.
Mr. Bernard also noted Shen Yun’s state of the art animated backdrops, which extend the stage to take the audience to worlds of celestial palaces, imperial grounds and mystical mountains.
“It just looks really real, like I was right there [in] China,” said his mother.
The performance of Sand Monk is Blessed particularly stood out for Mr. Bernard. A scene from China’s classic novel Journey to the West, the dance tells the story of a shape-shifting ogre whose fate takes an unexpected turn after an encounter with the magical Monkey King.
In this and other story-based dances, the performers interact with the background to bring the story to life.
“That was fun,” said Mr. Bernard.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun will be in Buffalo, NY on Apr 17 and Syracuse on May 12. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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