Designer Stunned by Classical Chinese Dance

‘It looks like they’re flying’

Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 12, 2013 Last Updated: February 13, 2013
Related articles: Shen Yun On Tour » Special Section
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Becca Oney and Betty Ebert attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Boston Opera House. (Hua Chang/The EpochTimes)

Becca Oney and Betty Ebert attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Boston Opera House. (Hua Chang/The EpochTimes)

BOSTON—Planetarium designer Becca Oney took a break from stargazing Sunday to take in Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Boston Opera House.

Ms. Oney, who helped design the planetarium for the Boston Museum of Science, attended the Feb. 11 performance with Betty Ebert, a defense technician with Raytheon Company.

Ms. Oney was captivated by classical Chinese dance, one of the oldest and most comprehensive dance systems in the world.

“It looks like they’re flying out there. It’s just absolutely beautiful,” she said. “And you learn so much. What’s really nice is how you get to learn a lot about the culture while you’re seeing all the beautiful things. It’s nice—great!”

“It gives you an idea of the history,” Ms. Ebert added.

New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company formed by Chinese artists from around the world who set out to revive their lost heritage.

“Shen Yun’s mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day,” according to the Shen Yun website.

“I love the show. I think it’s fantastic,” Ms. Oney said, adding that the dancers’ skill was exceptional.

“How fast they move their feet. It looks like they’re floating. It’s so beautiful.”

“It is very interesting!” Ms. Ebert added. “It’s so colorful and so different that you’re not used to [seeing] things like that.”

According to the Shen Yun website, classical Chinese dance is distilled from 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, soaking up wisdom and inspiration from every dynasty along the way.

Ms. Oney said seeing the classical Chinese dance and folk dance was a great format to learn about the culture.

“We’re not exposed to it very often,” she said. “Just to be immersed in it, it’s a different way to learn it rather than just reading about it.”

One of the most memorable moments for Ms. Oney was The Mongolian Bowl Dance, a traditional northeastern folk dance that features women dancers balancing bowls delicately on their heads as they perform.

“The bowl dancing was unbelievable,” she said. “I don’t know how they do that—it’s magic.”

Reporting by Hua Chang and Justina Wheale.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

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