LOS ANGELES—As a retired ballet dancer, Denise Hadley felt that Shen Yun Performing Arts was breathtaking.
“It was the choreography, synchronization; it was just beautiful,” she said at the Jan. 26 evening show held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. “And the costumes were awesome.”
New York-based Shen Yun graces the stage at more than 100 cities every year, reviving the longest-spanning culture in the world, according to the company’s website.
“For 5,000 years divine culture blossomed in the land of China. Mankind’s treasure was nearly lost, but through captivating music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing a divine culture back to life,” states the website.
“Through universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends and heroic modern-day epics. Shen Yun presents themes of compassion and courage with stunning beauty and tremendous energy, leaving audiences uplifted and inspired.”
Ms. Candice Lam, an actress, felt the energy during the performance.
“At the beginning I felt like they’re reaching to me, like there’s a message going on, and it’s really powerful,” she said. “And I was really into it.”
The movements of the dancers—“every little twist is so amazing”—commanded Ms. Lam’s attention.
Classical Chinese dance, the core of Shen Yun’s performance, has three main components. Besides bearing (inner spirit) and technical skill (flips, leaps, and turns that are known to draw spontaneous applause), there is form. Form is the techniques and methods of the ancient art, “including the hundreds of exquisite movements and postures,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“Even though many of these poses might look very simple, they actually require the perfect coordination of every part of the body,” the website continues.
Mr. Kerry James, an actor, accompanied Ms. Lam to the performance.
“It’s tranquil, it’s calm entertainment,” he said. “There’s a lot of energy, it’s exciting, but it’s not in your face.”
Ms. Lam said that underlying the performance seemed to be “something that guides people towards goodness.”
“I can’t really explain it,” she said, “but I just felt moved.”
Reporting by SOH Radio Network, Yaning Liu, and Zachary Stieber.