JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Insurance agent Calena Townsend saw Shen Yun for the first time on Jan. 29 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. “They are a miracle!” she said of the performers.
Mrs. Townsend, who studied dance as a young girl, described the dancers in the Shen Yun International Company as “amazing!”
“They are far beyond anything you see normally in the United States—nothing like the synchronization, nothing like the way they are matched to each other and [the way] the steps are matched.
“Everything is just perfect. The costumes are beautiful. Everything is just beautiful,” she said.
“Classical Chinese dance is a culture left to us by the ancients who came before us, its beauty should be riches shared by all of humanity, its purity should not be contaminated. Shen Yun Performing Arts’ dance style is built upon classical Chinese dance as a foundation, while also maintaining a number of ethnic and folk dances. This combination embodies Chinese people’s estheticism and ethnic character,” the Shen Yun website states.
Mrs. Townsend said, “The only sad thing is that, I guess, they can’t take [the performance] to China.” She said she could imagine how much the Chinese people would love to see Shen Yun. She felt that young people in China would especially love to see it.
The company hopes someday soon it can perform in China. The New York-based company is reviving the civilization that was nearly destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
Mrs. Townsend said she and her husband wanted to see Shen Yun because they wanted to learn more about Chinese culture. She said Shen Yun “looked like such a wonderful thing to experience—very happy to be able to come.”
Now she wants to learn more about the background and the history, she said. The stories, such as Sand Monk Is Blessed from the novel Journey to the West, piqued her curiosity.
Mrs. Townsend enjoyed the music as well as the dance. “All of it’s wonderful and it’s wonderful to have the orchestra. It makes it very special,” she said.
She was pleased she came to see Shen Yun. “It’s beautiful. The music is beautiful. It’s visually just wonderful. It’s everything that we read that it would be.”
Reporting by Linda Li and Mary Silver.
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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