Shen Yun is the Best Way to Ring in Year of the Snake, Says Design Couple

Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 11, 2013 Last Updated: February 14, 2013
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Designers Michael and Jennifer Hartman attend Shen Yun Performing Arts in Columbus. (Charlie Lu/The Epoch Times)

Designers Michael and Jennifer Hartman attend Shen Yun Performing Arts in Columbus. (Charlie Lu/The Epoch Times)

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Designers Michael and Jennifer Hartman decided to celebrate Chinese New Year by taking in classical Chinese dance and music company Shen Yun Performing Arts, at Ohio Centre on Saturday.

“I thought the timing was perfect with it being Chinese New Year right now, and the Year of the Snake—it was a wonderful way to celebrate Chinese New Year,” said Ms. Hartman after the Feb. 9 performance.

“It was wonderful, really great. We weren’t sure what to expect but we loved it, really loved it a lot,” she said.

Mr. Hartman, is the President of G Design Services, which offers architectural, industrial, product, and graphic design services and is also a former senior design for Heitman architects. He was impressed by Shen Yun’s digitally animated backdrops.

“They interacted with the dancers, it was very interesting,” he said.

“Good use of technology, digital images,” added Ms. Hartman, who works in product development and is the global sourcing manager for international retail company Limited Brands.

According to the Shen Yun website, the backdrops act as an extension of the stage, and are timed with the dancers, down to the micro-second, to make it appear as if they can leap in and out of the screen.

“The color was beautiful. It was so animated. The costuming was beautiful, really enjoyed it,” said Ms. Hartman.

New York-based Shen Yun was formed in 2006 by overseas Chinese artists who wished to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.

According to the Shen Yun website, each story-based dance expresses the virtues and beliefs of traditional Chinese culture such as benevolence, righteousness, and respect for the divine.

Ms. Hartman said these values resonated across cultural lines. “I think it’s pretty universal, whether its Chinese or Western or whatever the case may be,” she said.

“I think it was inspirational, and it gives you a lot of things to just think about,” added Mr. Hartman.

The couple also appreciated the musical treats in Shen Yun. Each dance piece is accompanied by a philharmonic orchestra with traditional Chinese instruments leading the melodies. The dances are also intertwined with vocal performances, sung in bel canto operatic style with Chinese lyrics.

“The music was great, really really nice,” said Mr. Hartman.

“Beautiful,” added Ms. Hartman.

Reporting by Charlie Lu and Justina Wheale.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

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