BUFFALO, N.Y.—Among many unique features that Shen Yun Performing Arts is known for—its orchestra of traditional Chinese and classical Western instruments, handmade costumes, its mission to revive China’s 5,000-year culture—almost every audience member comments on the show’s state-of-the-art digital backdrops that are like magical windows to other worlds.
A local real estate investor, John Apgar, who saw the performance on Friday evening, May 11, at the Shea’s Performing Arts Center in downtown Buffalo, couldn’t help but notice the intricate scenery on the backdrop that accompanied each dance.
He joked that he would be interested in investing in it.
“Show me the way,” he jested.
Mr. Apgar, who was at the theater with friends, was impressed with how the dancers synchronized their movements with the change of the scenes on the backdrops.
Like when the Monkey King, a beloved Chinese character who is introduced to the audience in one of the dances, dropped down from the mountain on the digital screen and jumped up on the stage instantaneously. “I think it’s really neat how they come out … there they are, just live all of a sudden,” Mr. Apgar said.
“It’s great, I enjoyed it immensely,” he added.
For other audience members, like Roy Lacura, who is the parish business manager for a Catholic church in Buffalo, the backdrops were a way of helping tell the story of each dance.
“The backdrop was very interesting. I love the computer animation and it made you feel more like you knew the story a little bit,” he said. As a devout Christian, Mr. Lacura was especially intrigued by the scenes of the holy deities and the appearance of Buddhas on the backdrops.
“There was one piece that was so reminiscent of … the holy spirit in my religion and I thought, you know as different as they seem, they are very, very similar in a lot of ways and even with this deity,” he said.
Mr. Lacura’s sister, Linda, who was also impressed with the show, promised to return next year when Shen Yun returns. “The costumes, the music was really fabulous … Yep, it was all perfect,” she said.
Also captured by the timeliness of the backdrops and the dancers was a space hydraulics technician, Dave Klein, who couldn’t help notice the athleticism of the performers that blended with the backdrops.
“It was very precise,” he said. “It was great … It was different,” he said. The most impressive for Mr. Klein was how the performers, the music and the backdrops complemented each other.
“I liked the background and the scenery, and the way they combined it with the animation,” he said.
With reporting by Allen Zhou, Kristina Skorbach and Matthew Little.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
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