HOUSTON—Shen Yun Performing Arts opened to a full house at the Jones Hall for Performing Arts, kicking off the week of shows in Houston on Dec. 26.
Johaina Gillian attended the performance with her family. The tickets were a surprise present from her husband.
“It was wonderful, it was a great surprise!” her daughter said. “The dancing was mesmerizing—it was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed.”
“It was so nice. It was as if they were floating all the time; the movement, like harmony all around,” Mrs. Gillian said.
The New York-based company received a curtain call and enthusiastic applause throughout the show, as the performers impressed the audience with the divinely inspired traditional costumes, dance, and music.
It was so beautiful, I just felt like I was captivated, taken away into this fairy land.
— Ms. Rachel Harris
Also in the audience was Rachel Harris, a teacher of Health and Nutrition, who likewise was taken by the grace of the dancers.
“It was so beautiful, I just felt like I was captivated, taken away into this fairy land,” Ms. Harris said. “I think I have a deeper appreciation of some of the history of China. I had no idea that they had this ancient art form and so it just really broadened my experience.”
“I felt like a dream,” Ms. Harris said.
Each of the costumes worn by Shen Yun dancers are meticulously designed, representing the 5,000 years of Chinese culture. The dances feature both classical Chinese dance, and ethnic and folk dances, and the costumes draw from both traditional costumes and heavenly robes.
“It’s fantastic. The color and the athletic ability, and the fact that they’re dancing with passion for what they believe is inspiring,” said David Layman, a healthcare professional in Houston.
“It’s inspirational, encouraging, uplifting,” Mr. Layman said.
Mr. Layman was touched by the conviction of the characters depicted in the dances. Many of the dances told stories with the theme of good-versus-evil, which is prevalent in Chinese culture and legends. From the swordsman Yang Zhi’s dilemma in the classic novel Outlaws of the Marshto the persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa in China today, Shen Yun presents many sides of China throughout the ages with traditional art forms.
“The dancers are unbelievable and tremendous. The athletic ability is phenomenal,” Mr. Layman said.
Classical Chinese dance, being the most comprehensive dance form alongside ballet, requires systematic training of very difficult twirling, jumping, and tumbling techniques, according to the emcees. The athletic moves are often mistaken for martial arts, acrobatics, or gymnastics, but in fact predate these other athletic forms.
“It’s a great combination of everything made for a wonderful evening,” said Mrs. Sarah Giesecke, who attended the show with a group of 10. “I think it has an influence on many different levels. First of all, my girls can appreciate the dancing and the beauty, and I think on more an adult level, it fosters international understanding and cooperation and tolerance.”
With reporting by NTD Television and Catherine Yang.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. The Shen Yun International Company will be performing in Houston through Jan. 1. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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