ATLANTA—“Amazing” summed up Shen Yun Performing Arts for Ms. Paula Edwards, director and playwright of the AHR Media Group, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta on Jan. 6.
“The drama is awesome, it keeps me captivated,” Ms. Edwards said.
From Tang Dynasty battlefields to stories bringing to light the persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa in China today, New York-based Shen Yun’s dances are filled with stories and drama.
“Everything is relatable, the stories that are being told—I liked [An Unexpected Encounter],” Ms. Edwards said. “That whole scene was just wonderfully played out.”
As a director-playwright, Ms. Edwards said she expects excitement, and “from the first scene to intermission it was very exciting, very captivating … It’s been very, very amazing.”
Ms. Edwards, who is about to tour with a positive coming-of-age drama this February, said watching Shen Yun has inspired her with ideas for her future productions. “I do write a lot of drama, it has inspired me to be more theatrical with my productions.”
“I loved the dancing. The dancing was amazing, so that is something I might like to implement in my productions, my future productions.”
Shen Yun performs classical Chinese dance and ethnic and folk dances. In addition to form and technique, classical Chinese dance emphasizes bearing, or “inner spirit,” which allows the dance to be infinitely expressive.
“Bearing emphasizes internal spirit, breath, intent, personal aura, and deep emotional expression. In essence, the spirit leads form, so that form is imbued with spirit,” reads Shen Yun’s website.
Ms. Edwards said she enjoyed the addition of the digital backdrop in the dances to complement the storytelling.
“Amazing! I thought it was artistic that [Shen Yun] included the animation to life type of performance,” Ms. Edwards said. “I love the backdrop, I love the whole animation that goes along with the choreography.”
“I think this show is amazing,” Ms. Edwards said. “The choreography is awesome, the costumes are very elaborate, very colorful, and it’s amazing, it’s really amazing.”
Reporting by Yang Chen and Catherine Yang.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will be performing at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre from Jan. 8-9. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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