COLUMBUS, Ohio—“My impression of the show is overwhelming beauty, exciting dance routines, powerful stirring music, color, beautiful women, handsome men, talented people,” said Deborah Sevigny. The South Carolina coalition chair was talking during intermission about her thoughts of Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Ms. Sevigny, who during the Newt Gringrich presidential campaign once worked for Ruth Shurlock & Leslie Gaines out of Greenville, South Carolina, saw New York-based Shen Yun at the Ohio Theatre on Feb. 10.
Shen Yun aims to restore 5,000 years of divinely inspired civilization, and its most celebrated means is classical Chinese dance.
“I liked that fact that 5,000 years of cultural history that we would never see if … the company didn’t bring it to our audiences in America. We don’t know much about the ancient Chinese culture because all we know is post-revolution. So to see this, the exquisite nature of their chorography, the precision of their hand movements, the delicate movement of their hands, and the skirting and fabric,” Ms. Sevigny said.
Through vignettes less than 10 minutes each, Shen Yun delves into Chinese culture through its vast library of lore, presenting legends and myths as well as dances of different minority groups. The ancient and traditional culture gives the company much to draw from.
“I loved it all. I loved the fact that [Shen Yun] had the Mongolian culture represented, the rice plantation people, the Yi people … I liked the fact that all ethnic groups within the continent of China were represented during the evolution of Chinese culture for 5,000 years. And it was portrayed in dance, and color and it was recognized!” she said.
Ms. Sevigny mentioned a particular dance that struck her, An Unexpected Encounter. A story of modern day China, the dance depicts the struggle against persecution, but the ultimate redemption. A heavenly being “came down during the prison [scene] and healed the people of turmoil with her compassion,” Ms. Sevigny said.
“Overwhelmingly beautiful,” was her impression of the whole show.
Reporting by NTD Television and Sharon Kilarski.
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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