DETROIT—“It brought me to tears a couple of times,” said Kimberly Wilkie after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at the Detroit Opera House on Saturday night, Jan. 26.
Shen Yun is a New York-based company founded in 2006 with the mission of reviving China’s 5,000-year divinely inspired traditional culture through music and dance.
What brought Ms. Wilkie to tears was simply her true appreciation for Shen Yun’s beauty. “All the scenes, and the music, and the costumes—it’s beautiful. If you have an appreciation for the arts, you will have an appreciation for this,” she said.
It was the dance that Ms. Wilkie, currently a physician’s assistant, commented on the most. She studied ballet for 17 years.
A Shen Yun performance focuses on classical Chinese dance, which alongside ballet, “is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world,” according to the company’s website. “Classical Chinese dance is composed of three main parts: bearing, form, and technical skill. Other than complete training in the fundamentals, it also entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques.”
It was the dancer’s leaping that impressed Ms. Wilkie. “Five perfect Russians in a row, you don’t see that on Broadway. It’s amazing, it really is. The technical aspect of this from a ballet standpoint is amazing. Really impressive.”
Ms. Wilkie explained her terminology: “A jump that, the legs part to the sides. It is very difficult to do one, two, maybe three in a row—but at the beginning, maybe the first or second act: five in a row, just like that! and perfect! It is very hard to do.”
“It’s amazing, it really is. It’s amazing. It’s breathtaking.”
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Sharon Kilarski.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform at the Detroit Opera House through Jan. 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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