DETROIT—As a stage designer, D.J. Haska knows a thing or two about quality performances. So when she saw Shen Yun Performing Arts in Detroit, she had to comment on the performance’s use of a digital backdrop.
“It was magnificent, just magnificent” is how Mrs. Haska, who is also an interior designer, described the backdrop. The backdrop is full of movement, color, and depicts scenes from ancient China, such as mountaintops, watery landscapes, and other imagery.
“I love the way everybody melted up into the sky” and how the dancers “[jumped] right back up” into the stage, said her husband, William Haska, who works in real estate. “It was fabulous.”
Shen Yun, which gave a performance in Detroit on Sunday at the Detroit Opera House, aims to revive China’s ancient culture via performing arts, music, and other means. Classical Chinese dance—which dates back thousands of years and is said to be capable of embodying this ancient culture—is the main form the performers use.
Diane Haska, who works in sales for a fragrance company, found an “excitement” in Shen Yun’s performance. She felt “moved” that whenever “disaster befell” a character in the performance, there was “always a happy ending.”
Shen Yun often portrays legends and stories that were passed down throughout China, which generally tell a tale of morality and virtue.
Mrs. Haska noted a warmth that permeated through Shen Yun’s depiction of Chinese culture. “It was uplifting,” she said, “it was really good.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun’s website says that the 5,000-year-old culture of China “was nearly lost” under decades of Communist Party rule, but is being revived through the performance. Despite it being a show about Chinese culture, Shen Yun cannot perform in China.
“Maybe one day,” said Mr. Haska, the performance can “go back to China” because “it was a very positive show.”
Reporting by Dong Yu Teng and Jack Phillips.
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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