JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Lorena Kappelmann, a former ballerina, said of Shen Yun Performing Arts: “It’s beautiful. The colors are vibrant, and it’s very exciting.”
She and Robert Kappelmann attended the last of two performances of the New York-based company at the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts, Jan. 30.
“Fifty years ago I danced on that stage,” Mrs. Kappelmann said. She performed classical ballet—Russian, French, and the Cecchetti method—and also ethnic dances.
“I think they’re beautiful,” Mrs. Kappelmann said of the dancers. “I think they’re very talented.” She noted the female dancers’ tiny steps and the hand work: “I thoroughly enjoyed that.”
“My husband got me a wonderful pair of little binoculars, and I’ve just been ogling everything. It’s marvelous. The girls just float, and that was what we tried to attain.”
Mrs. Kappelmann said she is deaf but can read lips. “I can get little bits of the music and I just am thoroughly enjoying it,” she said of the Shen Yun Orchestra, which blends Western and ancient Chinese instruments to create a fresh new sound.
Mr. Kappelmann, a consulting engineer who has his own business, said, “I like the costuming, the dance, everything—the excitement of the dancers.”
“I like the fact that it goes through the history and all. It’s very nice,” he said.
“Shen Yun’s mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day,” the Shen Yun website states.
“It’s pretty exhilarating to see the dances, especially with the jumps and acrobatics, the tumbling, and all,” Mr. Kappelmann said.
“Classical Chinese dance … involves learning combinations of leaps, turns, flips, spins, and other aerial and tumbling techniques.” “Alongside ballet, classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world,” according to the website.
Reporting by Kerry Huang and Louise Rothman.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will return to Florida with performances in Fort Myers, St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach, and Melbourne. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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