WASHINGTON, D.C.—Shen Yun Performing Arts greatly impressed audience members at the Kennedy Center Opera House on Jan. 30.
Based in New York, Shen Yun tours the globe with three equally large companies and orchestras, reviving the 5,000 year old, divinely inspired Chinese culture, according to its website.
“We are artists from around the world united by a shared mission. We came together in New York and set out to revive a lost heritage. Our greatest joy comes from sharing this passion with the world,” the Shen Yun website states.
“I enjoyed it tremendously,” said Dennis McDonald, a management consultant based in Alexandria, after watching the performance.
The spiritual elements inherent in Chinese culture show in the performance through different dance pieces, some of which depict heavenly realms and legends dealing with deities. The digital backdrops and colorful, handcrafted costumes contribute to the core of the performance, classical Chinese dance.
“I was overwhelmed by the number of costume changes,” said Mr. McDonald. He also enjoyed the spiritual themes.
Mr. Glenn Fleureton, a financial planner with MetLife, was also among the audience.
“We love it—absolutely,” he said. Mr. Fleureton thought the dancing was well choreographed, while his daughter—who was learning about Chinese culture at school—loved the costumes, the colors, and the dancing.
Further, Mr. Fleureton said the music was “absolutely beautiful.”
Shen Yun’s dancers are also accompanied by a unique orchestra.
“A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies,” states Shen Yun’s website. “The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear. The ensemble at once expresses both the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization.”
Patrick Sides, who sells cyber security software to the government, said what struck him the most was how the cultural presentation cannot be presented in China.
“To us, it’s things that we take for granted in this country, but in China, because of the government, they don’t approve of this cultural artistic expression,” he said.
Shen Yun visits more than 100 cities and 20 countries each tour but is based in New York to preserve artistic freedom and independence from the communist regime ruling China, according to the company’s website.
Mr. Sides said the experience was a welcome one.
“We get exposed to a lot of different cultural and ethnic foods, but not to the artistic sides of different cultures, so it’s definitely a new experience for me,” he said. “I enjoyed it very much.”
Reporting by Duwon Kang, Gary Feuerberg, NTD Television, and Zachary Stieber
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun New York Company is performing in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House from Jan 30 -- Feb 3 For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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