COSTA MESA, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts performed Jan. 18 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Two curtain calls and a standing ovation reflected the audience’s appreciation for the show.
Nicole La Cour, a dancer, attended the performance with her family. She was delighted by the many features of Shen Yun.
“I really enjoyed the show. There was so much to take in, from the costumes and from the storytelling; it was so rich in history and story, aside from just the technicality of the dancing. There was just so much,” she said.
Shen Yun is a New York-based Chinese classical music and dance company with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Through a collection of short pieces, audiences are whisked off to distant lands and times that span China’s history, from the Yellow Emperor through to modern day.
As a dancer, Ms. La Cour was especially aware of and impressed by the technical aspects of Chinese dance. She said it was different from the Chinese dance that she has studied.
“It just entails so much more history, and even some of the footwork [is different]. Using the whole foot and using the heel of the foot and flexing the foot as much as I saw, is different from what I’ve ever done. It was interesting and wonderful to see how they can go from one [type of] step to the other. … There was so much combined that I noticed. It was just beautiful to see,” she said.
Ms. La Cour’s mother, Elvia La Cour, was impressed with the effortlessness of Shen Yun’s dancers.
“I used to dance when I was younger and these [artists] make it seem so easy, and it’s not easy,” she said.
She also enjoyed the vibrant costumes.
“They were amazing. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Actually, I was very impressed. I will come back again.”
Ms. La Cour’s sister Alana La Cour also attended the show. “I thought it was amazing,” she said. “It was so rich in culture. It was very colorful, and the people portrayed the Chinese culture very well. I thought it was very historical, and I learned a lot from it.”
Gary La Cour, an entrepreneur and the father of the La Cour family, had similar feelings.
“I loved the show. The show was amazing. Costumes were beautiful. I liked the story line. I liked the way everything was explained beforehand, then you see the dance; it actually made it come to life, and I learned a lot about Chinese history,” he said.
He was referring to the way English and Chinese speaking emcees provide the context as well as the cultural and historical significance before each piece.
Mr. La Cour added, “I felt really comfortable. You come away with a really good feeling after watching the performances.”
Another aspect of traditional Chinese culture seen in Shen Yun is belief in the divine. China’s 5,000-year history is thought to be divinely inspired, so spirituality is deeply imbued in Chinese culture.
Both Mr. and Mrs. La Cour enjoyed the spirituality they observed during the performance. Mr. La Cour said he could see the connections between his faith and that of ancient China, and Mrs. La Cour said she was touched to see the Chinese belief in a higher being.
Mr. La Cour said, “For anybody that hasn’t seen this show, please come out and see Shen Yun; it’s a beautiful show. You’ll love it. I’m coming back next year with my family.”
Reporting by Laura Gu and Albert Roman.
Shen Yun Performing Arts will perform at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Jan. 20, then to Thousand Oaks at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Jan. 22 and 23, and finally to downtown Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Jan. 25 through 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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