SAN JOSE, Calif.--“Fascinating.” “Amazing.” “Inspiring.” These were some of the praise that came from audience members after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts in San Jose, Jan. 4.
Tonight was the first time Andrea Nicole Thomas, an operations manager, had ever seen classical Chinese dance.
“I liked the fact that it represented so many different parts of China and so many different eras in history,” she said. “That was really fascinating.”
Ralph Cook, a corporate finance reporter, said the show was “artistic” and “colorful”
and “the synchronization, and the dancing was amazing.”
Packed into two hours of bright color and lyrical sound, Shen Yun performers bring to life classic stories from Chinese literature, while showcasing the grace of classical Chinese dances and the vigor of ethnic dances, and tell poignant stories of contemporary China.
“I loved it,” said Jill Ford, an advisor. “I thought the costumes were very vibrant and colorful, it was definitely very inspiring.”
The hundreds of costumes in each Shen Yun show are hand-made and reflect the character of China’s different historical dynasties, regions, and ethnic groups. From long silken sleeves that gracefully disclose a woman’s feelings, to the dragon-faced shields protecting the Tang dynasty soldiers, each costume is its own window into Chinese culture, the company website says.
During the show, animated backdrops transport the audience into many different worlds including above the clouds where Chinese heavenly dancers—Fei Tian—inspire emperors and Buddhas aid those oppressed by evil specters.
Ms. Thomas said she enjoyed the show’s “walk through history” and learned something new from the pieces about modern China. Some pieces in the show depict the Communist Party’s suppression of the believers of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that was banned in the Mainland in 1999.
“It’s a shame that people can’t necessarily see the show in China,” Ms. Thomas said.
Mr. Cook was also surprised that New York-based Shen Yun cannot perform in China.
“I did not know that you can’t present this in China, so that was very new to me,” he said.
Ms. Ford summed up her experience of the show with the phrase, Wo ai Shen Yun (Chinese for “I Love Shen Yun”).
Reporting by Alex Ma and June Kellum.
Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will be performing in San Jose through Jan. 6. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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