WASHINGTON, D.C.—Shen Yun Performing Arts capped off its concluding performance Feb. 3, 2013 at the Kennedy Center Opera House with a full house. The two previous performances, Saturday matinee and evening, were also sold out. Shen Yun has now appeared in the nation’s capital for seven straight years.
Appearing at the final performance, Anna Kolev found much beauty at what she saw. Ms. Kolev studied ballet several years when she was in her late teens, but she said she was too tall to be a professional ballet dancer. She has some intimate knowledge of being on stage because in her youth, she won a beauty contest and was a model. Now she is a political science major at Georgetown University.
Concerning traditional Chinese dance, Ms. Kolev said.
“There is a lot of body work, a lot of strength. Very different. You can tell the dancers are very agile. It’s very hard to perform in long skirts and make flips so I can tell the girls are very, very good. The guys are very athletic. I loved it,” she said.
The art of classical Chinese dance is highlighted in the performance that seeks to purvey 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Through the course of thousands of years, the art form has been systematized and refined into the Chinese dance form we know today.
Ms. Kolev observed that a lot of work was put into the costumes, including “a lot of bead work,” which she appreciated.
“Costumes are what really set a lot of the dances apart. That really is beautiful,” she said.
One ethnic dance sequence that Ms. Kolev singled out was the Mongolian Bowl Dance. The backdrop shows a clear blue sky spanning over the open northern grasslands. “In one popular custom, Mongolian women greet guests from afar by balancing bowls on top of their heads,” says the Shen Yun website.
Traditional Mongolian dance requires “flexible writs, pliable arms, and a signature shoulder shake,” according to the program notes. The dance conveys the strength and hospitality of the Mongolian women.
Ms. Kolev admired the integration of the three-dimensional digitally projected backdrops. She said her heart was touched by the costumes—the extensive bead work—and the singing. She said, “The opera singers are amazing … I loved it … I think that was gorgeous.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Gary Feuerberg.
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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