COLUMBUS, Ohio—“It’s technology combined with classical which makes it very interesting,” said Michael Zatezalo about the Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company’s Feb. 10 matinee performance, at the Ohio Theatre.
New-York based Shen Yun has captured the hearts of audiences around the world with its mission to revitalize 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture through dance, music, and song.
“It’s very emotional,” said Jeannie, his wife. “When you look at the faces of the performers, they are so intent on giving such a fabulous performance—they are so into every step that they take.”
She exclaims, “It’s just beautiful! I really like it.”
“I took ballet for a lot of years when I was younger, and it just like it’s just transcends you back in time to it,” Mrs. Zatezalo said. “They are so graceful, the costumes are so beautiful; it is just so peaceful to watch this. It’s just beautiful.”
Mrs. Zatezalo continued, “I am just enjoying this so much. I wish it would just go on for 8 more hours!”
The couple love music and the arts and both work for Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter. Mr. Zatezalo is the managing director of the firm, specializes in real estate, finance and gaming law, and has been with the firm for 28 years. Mrs. Zatezalo is a real estate paralegal.
“Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises,” states the company’s website. “Whether set in the past or in contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values.”
“It’s really great. Its colorful, it’s very soothing, Mr. Zatezalo said. “It’s sort of a cerebral show.
Innovative digital projections onto the stage backdrops bring the audience into other worlds and far off regions of different eras and dynasties of China.
“The special effects are stunning … the way the backdrop matches what’s going on in the foreground, and when the people disappear into the backdrop,” he said.
Another outstanding feature is the orchestra. “The Shen Yun Orchestra combines the spirit, beauty, and distinctiveness of Chinese music with the precision, power, and grandeur of the Western symphony orchestra. The result—two great traditions producing one refreshing sound,” according the company’s website.
“It sounds great; I think the orchestra has been great,” said Mr. Zatezalo. “It’s just perfect and it’s really amazing how they can time all this, the music, the dancing and the technology background.”
“You can hear the traditional instrument sounds. You would not hear that necessarily from a symphony,” he said.
As a comment upon Shen Yun’s mission, to restore divine inspired culture, Mr. Zatezalo said: I think a lot of cultures, including Western cultures, if you trace the roots back think they have been appointed divinely, so it’s not that unusual for people to feel that way… In a lot of cultures you’ll see they have been the chosen people for some reason. So, yes, I can understand that and they were such a highly advanced civilization for so many years.
It is a culture that has nearly been destroyed under decades of communist rule, a heritage with a deep spiritual essence rich with values such as benevolence, wisdom, honour, propriety, and reverence for the gods and the heavens. Mr. Zatezalo noted the restriction of personal rights and the restriction on freedom of speech in China, and said “They are clearly not from China; this show would not play in China.”
In fact Shen Yun cannot perform in China for exactly the reasons Mr. Zatezalo states.
Mrs. Zatezalo concluded, “I just think that it was a wonderful show. It was portrayed beautifully and I would see it again.”
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Cat Rooney.
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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