WATERBURY, Conn.—Three generations of an artistic family enjoyed Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Palace Theater on Feb. 13.
Cathy McCaffrey was accompanied by her daughter Gina, COO and director of financial affairs at the Graduate Institute, and her granddaughter Olivia, a budding dancer.
“I love it,” said Cathy, adding that the performance was both peaceful and graceful.
“I didn’t realize that it was so focused on the culture,” said Gina McCaffrey. “I didn’t realize it would have so much meaning behind the movements.”
New York-based Shen Yun traverses the globe reviving the almost-lost, 5,000-year-old Chinese culture; one which is imbued with a range of virtues and beliefs, such as benevolence, wisdom, and sincerity, as well as a respect for the heavens and the divine, according to the company’s website.
The core of the performance is classical Chinese dance, an ancient art form. Accompanying the dancers, who are adorned with handmade regalia, are digital backdrops, vocal soloists, and an orchestra that starts with a Western philharmonic orchestra and adds traditional Chinese instruments to lead the melodies.
Gina said that the performance was beautiful, especially the costumes, and she appreciated the stories played out in mini drama dance pieces, less than 10 minutes each.
Like her daughter, Cathy was pleasantly surprised by the performance.
“I don’t know what I expected, but I certainly did not expect all of this,” she said. Already, she said she would see Shen Yun again, especially after learning the company presents an all new performance each year.
One dance piece about the Monkey King, a character from the classic Chinese tale, Journey to the West, inspired young Olivia to want to get the book. The youngest McCaffrey plays violin in a symphony orchestra and dances ballet and tap.
Reporting by Gary Du and Valentin Schmid.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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