BUFFALO, N.Y.—Being a classical ballet teacher, Elizabeth Schmitz knows a thing or two about dance, which means she was all the more impressed with the Shen Yun Performing Arts show she saw at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo on April 17.
“It was very interesting,” said Ms. Schmitz after the show. “It was very interesting to watch the technique and the dynamic quality. … I enjoyed it very much. It was very colorful. It was very interesting culturally.”
“[I enjoyed it] very much, very nice,” said her husband Jonathon Schmitz, who is an archivist and historian at the Chautauqua Institution near Jamestown, NY.
“There were many very beautiful moments. The costumes were just excellent.”
Ms. Schmitz has taught Cecchetti-based classical ballet for 10 years, including at George Brown College School of Dance and in the children’s program at York University in Toronto. She currently teaches at the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet.
She was impressed with the dancing in Shen Yun, which showcases the ancient art form of classical Chinese dance as well as ethnic and folk dances from China, Mongolia, and Tibet.
“The dancers were lovely,” she said. “They were very together. They were very beautifully arranged. When I was watching to see the arms and the heads, it was all very well coordinated. Very nice lines.”
Besides story-based dances that depict legends and tales from China’s long and rich history, New York-based Shen Yun also stages large-scale dances with both male and female dancers.
“They were all excellent, males and the females,” said Ms. Schmitz.
“It was a different dynamic quality. The ladies were more ladylike, they were gentler, where the gentlemen had more drive and energy in that sense. Not to say that the women didn’t but there was an effective distinction between the two.”
New York-based Shen Yun brings China’s 5,000-year traditional culture to audiences around the world.
As well as classical Chinese dance, the show features vocal soloists accompanied by a live orchestra that melds traditional Western and Chinese instruments—something entirely unique. Animated digital backdrops and detailed colourful costumes are a part of each performance.
“It was a very good show,” said Ms. Schmitz.
Reporting by Dongyu Teng and Joan Delaney
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Following the Buffalo show, Shen Yun will perform 11 shows at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York from April 20 through to April 28. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org