PITTSBURGH—Shen Yun Performing Arts was a fantastic experience for Audrey Clapper, a figure skater, who said she got many choreography ideas from the artistry she saw at Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday.
Mrs. Clapper teaches figure skating at the Robert Morris University Sports Center and also skates competitively.
New York-based Shen Yun traverses the globe purveying the 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, one that is imbued with a range of legends and stories as well as a strong virtuous foundation.
The performances have a base of classical Chinese dance, which requires systematic training in movements, postures, and difficult jumping and tumbling techniques, and accentuate the form with ethnic and folk dance.
“I love it,” said Mrs. Clapper. “It’s so elegant.”
“I wish I could do it as well as they do,” she added, saying some movements in the dance are similar to figure skating movements.
Bill Clapper, an accountant at BNY Mellon, said the digital backdrops stuck out to him the most, providing an unexpected yet interesting complement to the dancers.
Shen Yun’s digital backdrops are windows into different realms, according to the company’s website.
“From vast open grasslands in one dance to the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions in another; from dusty yellow battlegrounds to tropical beaches to Himalayan peaks to picturesque scenery of the Yellow River Delta—the digital projection infinitely expands and transforms the stage,” the website states.
The interaction between the dancers and the backdrops include some moments where the digital characters appear to seamlessly transition into the dancers on stage.
Mr. Clapper said he enjoyed the interaction, and agreed with Mrs. Clapper that the story-telling and moments of comic relief were a welcome part of the program.
“It’s beautiful,” said Mrs. Clapper. “Its informative; very inspiring.”
Mr. Clapper said he would tell his friends to come and see Shen Yun.
Reporting by Frank Liang and Zachary Stieber
Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will perform in Pittsburg 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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