INDIANAPOLIS—“It was just beautiful, a work of art,” said Brenda Born, a retiree and former dancer, about the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance she saw at the Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University on Jan. 5. She attended the performance with her husband, Chic, an attorney for 40 years and now a mediator with The Mediation Group.
From a dancer’s perspective, Mrs. Born reflected on what she experienced seeing Shen Yun: ”Oh, incredible, absolutely incredible. I was moved by the way the women looked. They appear to float … It was just beautiful, a work of art.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts mission is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance and music. Classical Chinese dance has it own distinct dance system.
“I have really enjoyed it,” Mrs. Born said. “I’ve never seen such uniform motion; it was very delightful.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun is able to present this traditional culture, a culture almost completely destroyed by the communist regime, particularly during the Cultural Revolution.
“I was saddened that this can’t take place in China; it can only take place here,” she said. “So, I am glad for us, but sorry for a culture that can’t really be acknowledged and enjoyed in their own [country].
“They can’t do this in China because they don’t have freedom to do it,” Mr. Born said. “Freedom is where we are and we are a beacon to the world in that regard. I think the show demonstrates that to me.”
Mrs. Born added: “Music and dance are universal. This brings the universe together. It doesn’t matter what culture you’re from, if you didn’t understand the words, you would always understand the language of movement and music.”
Shen Yun’s storytelling of traditional legends is enhanced by innovative digital animated backdrops that interact with the dancers.
“I was very taken with the animation,” Mrs. Born said. “I thought that was a wonderful touch.”
Mrs. Born recommends that anybody come and see Shen Yun: “I think that if you love dance, if you love color, you love beauty, and you love movement, you have nothing to lose” seeing this performance.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Cat Rooney.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. The New York Company is performing in Indianapolis at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University, Feb. 5 and Feb. 6. Its next stops are Cincinnati and Columbus. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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