SAN JOSE, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts completed the last of four performances in San Jose to a packed audience on Sunday afternoon. In attendance were people from all walks of life, including musician and actress Jeanne Young and photographer Lee Hicks.
Ms. Young, who received tickets to see Shen Yun for her birthday in October, attended with her friend Jessica Deberardinis. The two had a great time sitting in their front-row seats.
“I enjoyed all of it … I love how they spoke both languages, that was neat so everyone can understand,” Ms. Young said.
She was referring to the masters of ceremonies who speak in both English and Chinese, helping audience members to understand the story behind each piece of the performance.
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Shen Yun’s mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day.” The performance, which features dance and music, aims to “revive 5,000 years of civilization.”
Based on her artistic background Ms. Young felt that the performance was “visually stunning.” The dancers on stage impressed her in particular.
“The movements were very graceful … the way they glide, floated across the stage,” she said.
The foundation of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, along with a number of ethnic and folk dances.
“It was like nothing for them, they just glide and flip and you can’t hear a thing, it’s like second nature for them,” Ms. Young said.
Ms. Deberardinis remarked that Shen Yun was “very masterful” and that “everyone was just so talented up there … it was such a beautiful job.”
With a history of thousands of years, classical Chinese dance, alongside ballet, is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
Ms. Deberardinis also “loved the storytelling and the education of it. I learned some things that I did not know about China and about the culture.”
‘I love the staging’
Also at the performance was photographer Lee Hicks. She said that she was “loving it.”
“The performance is wonderful. I love the staging,” exclaimed Ms. Hicks.
Ms. Hicks also enjoyed the digitally-projected backdrops which change with each piece of the performance.
“I love how the actors seem to appear as a part of the production of the film behind. I love that, it’s just wonderful, magical,” she said.
The “digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance,” says Shen Yun’s website, including “the characters, color of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects.”
Ms. Hicks ended by saying that “the production is wonderful.”
Reporting by Lily Yu, Alex Ma, and Dean Tsaggaris.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will be in Vancouver until Jan. 13, while the New York Company will complete its tour of eastern Canada with five shows in Toronto from Jan. 17–20. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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