MILWAUKEE—Shen Yun Performing Arts put on its second of two performances in Milwaukee, on Feb. 20, at the Milwaukee Theatre.
Richard Rosenbalm, a retired accountant and once owner of Level Valley Creamery, attended with his wife, Christine, a retired banker. They were well entertained.
“The costumes are magnificent,” Mr. Rosenbalm said. “The dance is spectacular; the ladies are lovely. We have enjoyed it every minute so far.”
The couple enjoyed a performance of New York-based Shen Yun, a company reviving 5,000 years of divinely inspired dance, principally through the vehicle of classical Chinese dance.
Mr. Rosenbalm said that one of the things he learned about Chinese culture was “They celebrate life pretty much the way everyone else does in a very, very nice manner.”
His wife agreed: “They just love life and that means so much to them.”
Through classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun “weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales,” according to the company’s website.
Depicting modern times, some of dances reveal the current repression of traditional Chinese beliefs.
“Obviously there is some level of oppression and not feeling as good about it today as it was back in olden days,” Mr. Rosenbalm said, giving his impression.
Mrs. Rosenbalm was intrigued by one dance called, Sand Monk Is Blessed, a dance depicting a classic story of Chinese lore: “Heavenly children emerge to lure the man-eating ogre out from the river, but the ogre finds that these children simply cannot be caught, and is instead caught himself,” as described in the program notes.
The animated backdrop has figures appearing onscreen seemingly come to life onstage when live performers take over their roles.
“It was just so magnificent how they brought the characters out of the water into the
actual play. It was just—I’ve never seen anything like that. It was just really, very pretty,” she said.
Mrs. Rosenbalm also said would tell her friends and colleagues “If you never see anything with more beautiful costumes and dancing, I mean, this would be the show to go to. I have never seen anything like this. It’s very, very nice.”
Reporting by Stacey Tang and Andrew Darin.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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