ATLANTA—Dr. Gloria Gaston, an award-winning rheumatologist and physician, and Joyce Thornton, a retired teacher, attended the Shen Yun Performing Arts matinee on Jan. 6 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Mrs. Thornton said that the performance is wonderful. “I was just telling her [Dr. Gaston]—‘I’m amazed’,” she said.
Based in New York, Shen Yun presents 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese music and dance.
Shen Yun stunned Mrs. Thornton. “The dancers, the flexibility, … the costumes—I like it when it’s coming off the screen,” she said. The way the projected backdrop and the performers interacted was remarkably original and creative, she said. Mrs. Thornton said she had never seen anything like it.
“With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“I really like it,” said Dr. Gaston.
Dr. Gaston was recently recognized in her community with the Patients Choice Award in 2011, and the Compassionate Doctor Recognition the same year. She has a private practice at Windy Hill.
Dr. Gaston said it’s the creativity of the performance, and the ethnicity and the authentic part of it that touched her. “We’re enjoying it. It’s the first time I’ve seen it,” she said.
“Chinese ethnic and folk dance represents a vast and varied assortment of traditional dance styles,” according to Shen Yun’s website. Chinese ethnic dance are the dance forms passed down among the many minority ethnic groups within China, and folk dance, are the popular dance styles passed down among the majority Han ethnicity, like the Yang Ge, ribbon, and handkerchief dances, states the website.
Mrs. Thornton appreciated the emcees, and each dance or song’s introduction in Chinese and English. “I like that,” she said.
Dr. Gaston said that she would like to congratulate the Shen Yun artists and performers “on such an exquisite performance.”
“We look forward to seeing it again,” she said. Mrs. Thornton highly recommends Shen Yun. “Especially if you’ve not seen a performance like this before, because I didn’t know what to expect,” Mrs. Thornton said, adding that the Shen Yun ads grabbed her attention and made her attend. “It’s absolutely amazing and phenomenal,” she said, glad she came to see Shen Yun.
“I was just telling Gloria how their bodies are able to do a flip with no hands,” Mrs. Thornton said, with a laugh. “How can they do that? It amazes me,” she said.
Mrs. Thornton said that the Shen Yun Orchestra was “awesome” and she was delighted that they were able to see the conductor and orchestra performing. She was pleased that the conductor is a woman; London-born, Yale educated Antonia Joy Wilson.
Reporting by Mary Silver and Kelly Ni.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will be performing at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre from Jan. 8-9. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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