HOUSTON—Ophthalmologist Phil Scott was ready to urge his colleagues to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Jones Hall for Performing Arts in Houston on New Years Eve.
“I’ve enjoyed it very much—I think the dancers have both grace and dignity, and a lot of enthusiasm.” Dr. Scott said.
The New York-based company’s dancers perform traditional Chinese dance, like classical Chinese dance and ethnic and folk dances from the different regions of China, as their mission is to revive the 5,000 years of Chinese culture.
“There is a search for freedom and beauty—that’s what I see in the show.” Dr. Scott said. “I think the dancers show freedom in their movements, and discipline.”
“Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years, and while soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles,” according to the Shen Yun website.
“Dance is universal, I believe,” Mr. Scott said.
Also in the audience was Mrs. Teresa Jones, who works in finance, and Mr. Charles Jones, a quality assurance manager.
“It’s breathtaking, it’s just breathtaking!” said Mrs. Jones, whose said her favorite place is the theater district. “I’m just blown away!”
During intermission, Mr. Jones said he couldn’t wait for the second half.
“I think it’s powerful. I’ve never seen anything like—and I’ve traveled the world. I am just thankful to be here,” Mr. Jones said.
For New Year’s, Mr. Cecil Bartholomew traveled from the Caribbean to visit his daughter Ms. Lystra McCoy.
“Oh, the words. I don’t think English has enough words to be able to express it,” Mr. Bartholomew.
Mr. Bartholomew was touched by the spiritual aspect of traditional Chinese culture and said he would be taking it with him into the New Year.
“This show definitely will be with me through this year, the spiritual part and everything else,” Mr. Bartholomew said. “It gives you the feeling that we are all spiritual and we are able to do what we have to do on earth, but it all belongs to the spirit, and it went back to the spirit.”
Spirit is very present in classical Chinese dance, as Shen Yun’s website explains. In addition to form and technique, the third main component of classical Chinese dance is bearing, “the translation of a specific Chinese term that can best be described as a particular inner spirit.”
For Mrs. Rebecca Forehand, a therapist, the spirit of the dancers stood out as well. Mrs. Forehand attended the performance with her friends and family.
“I thought that it was really refreshing,” Mrs. Forehand said, adding that she was impressed at how beautifully the dancers performed without being “showy or provocative.”
Mrs. Forehand added that it was nice to see the performers express the traditional Chinese values even though the show isn’t allowed in China today, under the current regime.
“They certainly made a statement,” Mrs. Forehand said. “I think it’s nice that they didn’t back down from what they believe.”
With reporting by NTD Television and Catherine Yang.
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 in Houston through January 1. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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