DETROIT—Seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Detroit Opera House on Saturday was an amazing experience for James and Aneta Sandison, who attended the performance to celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary.
“I liked everything. The costumes were beautiful, the dance was really beautiful,” said Mr. Sandison, owner of Sandison Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc.
Based in New York, Shen Yun has the mission of reviving 5,000 years of Chinese culture. The company has three dance companies and three orchestras that perform in about 20 countries and 100 cities each year.
Mrs. Sandison, who is a manager at a dental office in Birmingham, Mich., said she was struck by the elegance of the dancers. “They float on the stage,” she said.
“All of it was beautiful … my favorite, of course, was the soprano and the tenor,” she said.
In addition to classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun’s hallmark, the performance features an orchestra that combines East and West, as well as bel canto soloists. Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique: In addition to classical Western instruments, it also has traditional Chinese instruments, such as the erhu, pipa, and suona.
All of it was beautiful … my favorite, of course, was the soprano and the tenor.
“It was soothing, it was beautiful,” said Mrs. Sandison about the sound of the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese instrument, rather like a violin, which is said to have originated about 4,000 years ago.
Mr. Sandison, who has an interest in Chinese culture and is learning to speak Mandarin Chinese, said he liked the stories portrayed in the Shen Yun performance.
“I enjoyed the way they tell the story and also that they include the Chinese culture from the beginning of history, and that they bring you up to the modern day today,” he said.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Sandison said they loved the backdrop used in the performance.
“How everything came to life, it was beautiful,” Mrs. Sandison said.
It is a state-of-the-art digital backdrop, which is an integrated part of each dance and song.
Mr. Sandison said, “I thought that was really awesome, the way everything was interactive.”
According to the Shen Yun website: “The backdrops are magical windows to completely different realms. From vast open grasslands in one dance to the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions.”
Reporting by Lin Po and Jasper Fakkert
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform at the Detroit Opera House through Jan. 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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