WORCESTER, Mass.—Joseph Black and Lisa Celovsky are university professors who arrived at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, Feb. 6, hoping to learn something about traditional Chinese culture.
It was opening night in Worcester for New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts. Ms. Celovsky said she came because she wanted “to see the dance and learn a little bit about the Chinese culture.”
This evening the people of Worcester and the surrounding area had a rare opportunity to experience Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company as it graced the stage with colorful performances of classical Chinese dance and music.
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending the sounds of both East and West, breathtaking backdrops, splendid costumes, singers—together creating an experience that’s leaving millions in awe,” the company’s website states.
Ms. Celovsky and Mr. Black are surely not the only academics in the area hoping to learn about traditional Chinese culture. Worcester, five-time recipient of the All-American City Award, is a mid-size city with a dense concentration of colleges and universities—10 total in a city with a population of only 181,045.
Ms. Celovsky is an associate professor in the English Department at Suffolk University. Mr. Black is a professor and director of graduate studies for the English Department at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.
Mr. Black was attracted to the narrative behind Shen Yun. He described the performance as “beautifully choreographed song and dance numbers that tell a story of traditional Chinese culture.”
He was referring to Shen Yun’s unique feature of drawing upon stories and legends spanning China’s 5,000 years of history and reviving them on stage in vivid detail.
Ms. Celovsky added, “I thought it was very interesting how the connection of the divine to the contemporary events in China were married—to show the divine are watching what is going on in the culture right now.”
“Beautifully choreographed, beautifully done,” Mr. Black said.
Reporting by Steve Gigliotti and Adam Miller.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun New York Company is performing in Worcester Feb. 6–7 at The Hanover Theatre and in Boston Feb. 8–10 at the Boston Opera House. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.