INDIANAPOLIS—“Oh, it is fabulous, and I have never been a great one for this kind of entertainment,” said Dr. John Abbott, after viewing Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University.
John Abbott, the pastor of prayer and discipleship at Indianapolis’s United Methodist Church, bought Shen Yun tickets as a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife Leanne. “I wanted to give her a gift of something I wouldn’t normally … and this was it!” he said. “And I am finding that I like it very much.”
New York-based Shen Yun, the world’s premier traditional Chinese dance and music company, aims to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture. It features classical Chinese dance, an extremely comprehensive and expressive dance system, which allows story-telling purely through dance, according to the company’s website.
“I love history,” Mrs. Abbott explained. “It’s wonderful to see the way they depict it in the different kinds of things that they do through the dance. They teach us things about the culture, about the people, about, you know, threats to them, about changes. And I do see the people and their deeply held beliefs, how they are able to express those with such … smooth movements, and their passion. They are so passionate about their lives,” she said.
“It is fun to see the dancing, but it’s also fun to follow the storyline because they give you just enough of a storyline when they introduce it that you can keep up with it. And I love it,” Pastor Abbot said.
Each dance, instrumentalist, or vocal soloist is introduced by bilingual emcees.
“I have enjoyed it very much because of the variety,” Mrs. Abbott said.
Pastor Abbott also enjoyed the visual aspects of the show: “The colors are just phenomenal and they are colors that I don’t think that I would think of putting together, green and yellow with pink, I mean, but it is gorgeous and the way their clothes flow give you pictures of windmills and all kinds of stuff,” he said describing the handmade costumes.
“It just bombards your mind with great visions,” he said.
He also picked up on the spirituality imbedded in the legends of ancient China, and in the spiritual imagery he saw. He appreciated this, “I know that it connected with me where I am, and so I loved it, absolutely!”
Pastor Abbott would tell his congregation that “they shouldn’t miss something so expressive and beautiful that teaches us about a culture that we don’t know much about.”
“I have enjoyed every minute of it,” he said.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Sharon Kilarski.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. The New York Company is performing in Indianapolis at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University, Feb. 5 and Feb. 6. Its next stops are Cincinnati and Columbus.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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