THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—Two sisters, both artists, praised the beauty of Shen Yun Performing Arts after seeing the company perform at the Fred Kavli Theatre on Jan. 23.
New York-based Shen Yun has a core of classical Chinese dance, an ancient art form nearly as ancient as the 5,000 year old Chinese culture. The dancers are adorned with handmade costumes.
Ms. Brigitta Romanov, a costume designer for more than a dozen movies and television series—including Entourage, Jane by Design, and the forthcoming Plush—said she appreciated the high aesthetic in Shen Yun.
“I love the textures and the layers to both the costumes, the music, and the dance—there are many layers,” she said. “You feel like you can see one aspect, and then it takes you to another one into another one. It feels very layered. Beautiful.”
Shen Yun’s graceful dancers are accompanied by digital backdrops and an orchestra that combines classical Western instruments with traditional Chinese instruments.
Ms. Romanov said the orchestra “is so perfect it sounds pre-recorded.”
Also, award-winning vocalists take the stage between sets of dance pieces, singing in Chinese with an English translation appearing on the digital backdrop.
Ms. Stephanie Romanov, an actress with 26 titles to her name, said the vocalists were commanding.
“Their voices could fill a stadium … ,” she said. “They’re so amazing and her (one of the soprano’s) voice is so powerful.”
Ms. Brigitta Romanov said she was paying close attention to the entire performance, including the different artistic components.
“I’ve been looking at the detail of everything,” she said. “Every detail is apparent, which I admire very much: from the costumes, to the music, to the dance, to how synchronized the dancers are, which is very poetic and beautiful.”
The stories and legends purveyed in Shen Yun’s performance, through mini drama dance pieces less than 10 minutes each, draw upon the litany of Chinese culture.
“Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises,” states the company’s website. “Whether set in the past or in contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values. Ideals of loyalty, filial piety, and veneration for the divine are cherished and celebrated. Heroes are extolled for their compassion and tolerance as much as their courage or determination when facing adversity.”
The dancing and the performance overall was a memorable experience for Ms. Brigitta Romanov.
“The precision is wonderful,” she said. “It’s beautifully executed.”
Reporting by Lu Rusong and Zachary Stieber.
Shen Yun Touring Company will be performing at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in
Los Angeles January 25 through 27.
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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