CINCINNATI—Leyla Shokaohe was absolutely in awe of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Feb.7.
Ms. Shokaohe is the marketing assistant at the Cincinnati Ballet, and she was enchanted and excited to experience classical Chinese dance. She was blown away by the highly skilled world-class Shen Yun dancers.
Ms. Shokaohe has seen lots of dancing in her career, but she said that the Shen Yun dancers are fantastic.
“They have such high jumps and their legs are just spread out entirely—it’s really impressive. The flips, the back flips are crazy, so it’s, really, really, very cool,” she said.
“It’s wonderful. Everyone is incredibly talented, and it’s very unique,” Ms. Shokaohe said.
Ms. Shokaohe would like everyone to come see Shen Yun. “I think everyone should come to check out it’s really, really cool,” she said.
Shen Yun, which is based in New York, presents the ancient traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese music and dance.
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending the sounds of both East and West, breathtaking backdrops, splendid costumes, singers—together creating an experience that’s leaving millions in awe,” the company’s website states.
“I have never experienced traditional Chinese dance before so it’s really exciting,” Ms. Shokaohe said.
Classical Chinese dance has been passed down for thousands of years, and “has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
Ms. Shokaohe said that the Shen Yun dancers are really precise and unified. “They are just totally in sync with each other,” she said.
She was especially touched, and shocked when she learned that Shen Yun currently cannot perform in China due to communist rule in the country. After 60 plus years of the communist regime, the ancient culture was almost lost.
Shen Yun was established in 2006 by a group of artists with the desire and mission to revive true Chinese culture.
“I really liked the dance about like the oppression that they face,” Ms. Shokaohe said. She was referring to Divine Mercy, a dance that tells a story of good versus evil in today’s China—the communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice
“As for the religious freedom and expressing themselves—I thought that was really cool. It was eye opening,” she said. “I didn’t know that happened.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Kelly Ni.
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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