NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Jeri West, who works in human resources, said that her husband, Troy West, gave her a “very nice surprise” for Valentine’s Day. Mr. West, a project manager, surprised his wife to Shen Yun Performing Arts INternational company on Feb. 16 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
Shen Yun presents 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance and music, stories that span ancient China up to modern China, an orchestra that combines Eastern and Western musical instruments, colorful handmade costumes, digital backdrops, and solo vocalists.
They had an excellent Valentine’s together at Shen Yun. “It’s fascinating,” Mrs. West said.
“It is mesmerizing to watch them, even the expressions on their faces,” Mrs. West said. “I wish I could have more eyes just to capture all the different expressions on their faces.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, classical Chinese dance is “rich with expressive power.”
Mr. West said it was great and he enjoyed the true Chinese culture. “The energy was good,” Mr. West said.
According to Shen Yun’s website, “mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day.”
Mr. West particularly liked the Mongolian Bowl Dance, where “From their tents, Mongolian women emerge balancing bowls on their heads in a dance of welcome,” according to the program book.
“There’s always something interesting that keeps the scene going,” he said.
“I like the grace,” Mr. West said. “The women—they are so graceful with the long sleeves,” he said.
“Classical Chinese dance is grounded in 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture, and is a dance art form built upon a deep foundation of traditional aesthetics,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“I was a little bit surprised about the physicality—it’s just amazing,” Mrs. West said, impressed with how flexible the Shen Yun dancers are. “How all these women can stretch, oh my goodness!”
Classical Chinese dance is composed of three main parts: bearing, form, and technical skill, according to Shen Yun’s website.
But it “also entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques,” the company’s website says.
Mrs. West wanted to tell the Shen Yun dancers to “keep up the good work.”
Reporting by Mary Silver and Kelly Ni.
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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