PITTSBURGH—In a dazzling display of dance and color, Shen Yun Performing Arts gave its second performance in Pittsburgh on Saturday, treating theatergoers to a healthy sampling of authentic Chinese culture.
Shen Yun aims to revive traditional Chinese culture and values, via classical Chinese dance, orchestral music, and story telling.
Dr. Paul Hennigan, the president of Point Park University, a liberal arts university located in downtown Pittsburgh, described Shen Yun’s performance at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts as “outstanding.”
“It’s just really well done. It’s put together well, it’s described well, it’s choreographed well,” Dr. Hennigan said, adding accolades for the orchestra and the digital backdrop as well. The signature backdrop for Shen Yun displays an array of detailed landscapes in a digital format allowing the dancers to interact with it.
Based in New York, Shen Yun says that it is bringing back 5,000 years of “divinely inspired culture,” using classically trained dancers to tell stories passed down throughout Chinese history as well as several modern pieces, according to the company’s website.
Dr. Hennigan remarked that his students and faculty would benefit from seeing Shen Yun. “I would recommend it,” he said, adding that he would “tell them about how beautiful and how graceful it is.”
His wife, Paulene, a retired nurse, noted the intricacies of classical Chinese dance. Mrs. Hennigan said she was impressed with “the choreography and the precision, and the elegance of it.”
With thousands of years of foundation, Classical Chinese dance is said to have soaked up “profound wisdom” from each Chinese dynasty to create a complete dance system, the company’s website states. It is a system that is difficult to master, but can embody the Chinese ethnic character and traditional aestheticism.
With reporting by Frank Liang and Jack Phillips.
Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will perform in Pittsburg until Feb. 3. 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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