NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Physical therapist Ms. Lakota Hillis was awestruck by the movements and technique of Company at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on Feb. 16.
Ms. Hillis was pleased to see the spiritual themes and contemporary history in the performance. She said it was unexpected and “also very heartening to see in there. It was a very nice touch, but also just having the spiritual stuff is amazing. It’s important, I think, to have in there as well.”
The technical skill of the performers fascinated her. She laughed and said she could not help but judge dance from the perspective of a physical therapist.
“It’s incredible to watch, just the athleticism that’s on stage. It’s beautiful,” Ms. Hillis said.
“It’s flawless,” Ms. Hillis said, referring to Shen Yun’s dancers’ landing after the many difficult leaps and flips through the air. “It’s very, very light and there’s just no sound to it, almost.”
“Classical Chinese dance has its own set of training methods in basic skills and has strict training in both physical expression and specific postures,” according to Shen Yun’s website. It’s a comprehensive dance system including thousands of unique postures and movements, the emcees had explained.
“It’s a beautiful performance,” Ms. Hillis said.
Mr. Patrick Fitt-Gordon, a technical support specialist for Nissan, attended the performance and said he thought the choreography and technique were amazing.
“Seeing this, it’s awesome, it’s nothing like I thought it was going to be. It’s really impressive,” Mr. Fitt-Gordon said.
Mr. Fitt-Gordon practices traditional martial arts, including Judo, Tae Kwon Do, and Jiu Jitsu. He said, “I do martial arts and the choreography and the technique is ridiculously precise. It’s amazing.”
He also connected to the spirituality of traditional Chinese culture’, which he said he could feel through the performance.
“I think the spirituality they have is amplified in everything they do in life … with just the techniques and the way that they dress,” Mr. Fitt-Gordon said of the spirituality imbued in the Chinese culture.
Classical Chinese dance is also deeply expressive. “China’s deep cultural traditions are contained in classical Chinese dance, allowing its movements to be richly expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“I think it really ties into how strongly they believe in whatever it is they’re doing,” Mr. Fitt-Gordon said.
Reporting by Mary Silver and Catherine Yang.
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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