BUENOS AIRES—After seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts, Irina Zyrianova, former prima ballerina with the St. Petersburg Ballet, wants to come out of retirement.
“I wish to dance again!” she exclaimed. “I just wanted to see more and more! It’s like, you are waiting for the next surprise, because it was so beautiful, and you say, what else can it be?”
Shen Yun is based in New York and criss-crosses the globe with one mission—to revive the 5,000-year-old, divinely inspired Chinese culture.
“Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance,” says the company’s website. “But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience.”
Ms. Zyrianova, who later was with the Mikhailovsky Bolshoi Theatre and Moscow Grand Ballet before becoming a theatrical producer, said she loved the performance and enjoyed how much tradition and history was put into the performance.
“It is very, very impressive,” she said after seeing Shen Yun at Teatro Ópera Citi on Dec. 18.
Furthermore, she said each dancer, to impart such a rich tradition, must be in touch with themselves, their soul.
“I think to protect the tradition, and treat it with such a respect and such a beauty, it’s lovely,” she said. “I only can have a lot of admiration.”
Shen Yun’s dancers are trained in the ancient, thousands of years old art form of classical Chinese dance, which was, according to the company’s website, “passed down continuously within the imperial palace and ancient Chinese theater and opera.”
“Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning,” the website continues.
The dance is the core of Shen Yun, yet other components accentuate the dancers, who are adorned with handcrafted regalia. Digital, state-of-the-art backdrops transport the audience across time (back to the dawn of Chinese civilization) and space (to different areas of the vast country). Sopranos and tenors perform solos interspersed with the dance pieces.
Everyone should go see Shen Yun, said Ms. Zyrianova, the esteemed ballerina.
“I would say, if they didn’t see it, they´ve missed a lot!”
As Shen Yun continues growing it visits new areas of the world. Ms. Zyrianova says the company should head to Russia soon, since the country also has beautiful traditions and could connect with the Chinese culture.
“I think Russians would really appreciate it and love it,” she said. “They would absolutely love it.”
Reporting by Andres Auzunbud and Zachary Stieber.
New York-based Shen Yun has three companies that tour the world each year on a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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