ROCHESTER, NY—The live orchestra and animated backdrops were just two of the many things about Shen Yun Performing Arts that surprised and impressed Robert Palmer when he saw the show at the Rochester Auditorium Theatre on Saturday night.
“I thought it was very interesting, very colorful,” said Mr. Palmer, a retired journalist.
“The dancers are very good. I think they’re very accomplished; it’s a lot of work,” he said, adding that he “was impressed that they had a live orchestra. Was very nice.”
He said he particularly enjoyed Shen Yun’s unique digital backdrops, which provide vivid imagery to enhance the experience and are often animated to integrate with the storytelling and complement the piece being played out onstage.
“I liked the use of the technology. It’s a new thing, that backdrop, [with] people coming in and going out. I’m sure everybody loves that. … I haven’t seen it before so I enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun.”
New York-based Shen Yun tours the world each year with an all-new program of mainly classical Chinese dance rounded out by Chinese ethnic and folk dance and original songs and musical compositions. Some of the dances depict famous stories from China’s long and rich history.
According to its website, Shen Yun is dedicated to the mission of reviving the authentic traditional culture of China, a 5,000-year-old heritage that has been all but completely lost as a result of various communist campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution.
Attending the show with Mr. Palmer was interior designer Ward Paddle, who noted the way the costume fabrics lent themselves to the dance.
“I thought it was beautiful. I was speaking to a woman in there earlier that I thought the use of fabrics in the dance were almost part of the music themselves. The way the fabrics moved with the dancers, I thought it was quite beautiful,” he said.
“They’re awfully, awfully colorful,” said Mr. Palmer of the costumes. “It’s very, very pretty. It’s beautiful, moves beautifully.”
He added that he hadn’t seen Shen Yun before, and he found it “a lot of fun.”
“I enjoyed it immensely, I really did. It was very interesting.”
Reporting by Gary Du and Joan Delaney
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun will be in Rochester for one more show on Sunday, Feb. 17. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
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