NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Barbara Dowson and her husband drove over one hour to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on Feb. 16, and it was a special trip for the Dowson’s.
It’s rare that a performance invokes interest for the Dowson’s, but they knew that Shen Yun would be worth the trip.
“The costumes and the way that they floated on stage was magical and unbelievable—amazing!” Mrs. Dowson said.
“I just thought that was really great,” she said. “What they did was pretty majestical on stage,” she said, adding that the dancers made it look really easy.
At the core of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance and music. Ethnic and folk dances that span China’s vast lands are included, too. The Shen Yun Orchestra blends Eastern and Western musical instruments; exquisite handmade costumes adorn the performers, digital backdrops extend the stage, and solo vocalists sing original compositions.
“We don’t see shows very often, but we saw this [preview] on TV and my husband, a real cowboy, said, ‘You know, that really looks pretty neat’,” Mrs. Dowson, a nurse, said.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the true Chinese culture, and Mrs. Dowson said that this caught their attention. She said that authentic Chinese culture is something different and that they might like it.
“And it was—it was very different,” Mrs. Dowson said. “I like the classical way that they float across the stage and the way that they use their props,” she said. “They made it look so easy. I thought that was very unique.”
“Classical Chinese dance is grounded in 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture, and is a dance art form built upon a deep foundation of traditional aesthetics,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
Mrs. Dowson said the dancers and their presence with the costumes were very energetic. “The energy in the costumes was really pretty amazing,” she said.
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Every costume in a Shen Yun performance is presented with brilliant colors, displaying a splendid spectacle.”
Mrs. Dowson said the Shen Yun costumes, and their colors and softness, were “the most amazing thing.”
Reporting by Mary Silver and Kelly Ni.
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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