SAN JOSE, Calif.—For dance enthusiast Elba Lugo Mulvey, seeing Shen Yun perform at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 4 was an extraordinary experience.
Ms. Mulvey says that she loves seeing ballet and other dance styles, but that seeing Shen Yun surpasses her previous experiences.
“Ballet is a lovely art form, but this surpasses it to me because,” she said, there is “much more freedom of movement and much more strength. Because you move faster, and at the same time [when the dancers jump or flip], you look like you’re suspended in air. … Because they have that much strength.”
“I have chills talking about it. It’s just wonderful.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music performance. Its mission is to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
Besides Classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun also features a number of ethnic and folk dances. “This combination embodies Chinese people’s estheticism and ethnic character,” reads the Shen Yun website.
“This is extraordinary—the movement, the color, the lightness, the way the women walk, the way the men do their Warrior dances—it’s just magnificent; I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Ms. Mulvey, who works with medical records at a hospital in the Monterey Peninsula.
“I’m so glad [the emcee] said that every year it’s different, because I’m going to see this again and again, because it’s so uplifting,” she said.
Ms. Mulvey says she was particularly struck by the deep spiritual meaning presented in the performance.
Shen Yun draws from China’s rich 5,000-year-old civilization in its performance. On its website the company says that “Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises. Whether set in the past or in contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values.”
“I am just so moved, it’s so beautiful. … My heart is full, it is so full,” says Ms. Mulvey.
Reporting by Lily Yu and Jasper Fakkert
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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