LAS VEGAS—Professional dancer Jasmine Villamor was thrilled to attend the Saturday afternoon performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts on March 16.
“It was excellent,” said Ms. Villamor. “The level of artistry is very high.”
Jasmine Villamor has been dancing professionally for 21 years throughout the United States. She was a scholarship recipient for several prestigious ballet summer programs and has been teaching dance for over seven years. She danced for Cirque Du Soleil’s Viva Elvis, which finished last August, and is currently in several shows in Las Vegas.
According to New York-based Shen Yun’s website, “Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance,” says the website.
“I love it,” said Ms. Villamore. “It was beautiful.”
Ms. Villamore thought Shen Yun’s handmade costumes were gorgeous. “The costumes were brilliant,” she said. “Everything from the way the music flowed with the costumes to the chiffon of the costumes was spectacular. The colors schemes were amazing.”
From her perspective as a dancer, Ms. Villamore was very impressed with the abilities of Shen Yun’s dancers and how synchronized they were in their movements. “There are so many dancers on stage, which is incredible,” she said. “Everything, for being a live show, was seamless. It doesn’t always happen, knowing that when you dance live, a lot of times things can go wrong, and everything was so clean.”
“Choreographically, there were so many patterns changing, and everything was exactly on,” Ms. Villamore continued. “I teach dance as well and it’s very difficult to get everybody in the same line all the time. So obviously, the artistry of the artists in this show—they are the best in the world, I would assume. It was beautiful.”
Ms. Villamore said it has become popular recently in the United States for dancers to learn more gymnastics movements, and she was amazed to find out that those movements were originally part of classical Chinese dance. “In the United States, [they] just started merging acrobatics and dancing. It’s really cool to find out that you guys have always been doing this kind of movement and we just started incorporating it. It’s very educational. … So, the technical level is amazing.”
The interactive digital backdrops looked stunning to Ms. Villamore, who is a fan of the computer graphics (CG) technology used in the performance. “The CG with the jumping off the stage and adding the artist in with technology today was gorgeous, incredible. Nowadays I just love the computer ability of being able to add CG into live art.”
Ms. Villamore also could not say enough about Shen Yun’s orchestra. “The orchestra was flawless,” she said. “I can’t believe everything was live. It sounds likes a recording. Nowadays there’s a lot more recording than orchestra, unfortunately.”
Finally, Ms. Villamore said she was going to recommend Shen Yun to the thriving arts community in Las Vegas. She also hoped there would be more afternoon performances in the future. “Do more matinees, because when we are in shows, we can’t see nighttime shows,” she said. “So matinees are very good for Las Vegas performers.”
“Everything was just so beautiful,” said Ms. Villamore. “I enjoyed it a lot.”
Reporting by Chang Yi Yuan and Sarah Le.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company is performing in Las Vegas, at Reynolds Hall, in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, March 15–17. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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