PITTSBURGH—Shen Yun Performing Arts gave theatergoers in Pittsburgh greater insight into the history and traditions of Chinese culture on Sunday.
Michelangelo Celli, president of business consulting firm the Cornucopia Group, saw Shen Yun at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday.
“It’s amazing,” Mr. Celli said explaining that he was shocked to see the beautiful colors and grace of the dancers.
He also praised Shen Yun’s orchestra and bel canto soloists. “The music is great,” he said, adding that he came to see the performance with a friend who is a symphony cellist.
One piece in particular that resonated with Mr. Celli is called “An Unexpected Encounter.” The dance depicts the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong—a type of meditation practice. Practitioners of Falun Gong have been arrested, tortured and killed in China since 1999.
“I think that was the most passionate dance; there was a lot of emotion,” he said, adding, “I think it’s a really relevant piece.” He said the piece raises concerns “about maybe traveling to China or maybe doing business over there.”
“I think it’s those kinds of concerns about the government and corruption, and that kind of control, that worry you to do that,” Mr. Celli continued. “But it’s such an amazing culture, and so many beautiful things … So it’s interesting to see that scene and the resolution, and how that’s all changing.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture and to bring it to a wider audience, according to the company’s website. However, Shen Yun cannot perform inside China.
“I think it opens up a good dialogue. Really good,” Mr. Celli said.
Mary Catherine Ward, program manager director for the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, praised Shen Yun’s dancing and costumes describing them both as “beautiful.”
Costuming is an integral part of Shen Yun, the company says, and is inspired from clothes worn during different Chinese dynasties and by ethnic groups.
“It was wonderful. I thought it was very well-produced,” Ms. Ward said.
With reporting by NTD Television, Pamela Tsai, and Jack Phillips.
Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will perform until Feb. 3. Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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