ESCONDIDO, Calif.—”It’s just a very beautiful dance. I sense it’s very classical, and the form is very correct, and very symmetrical,” raves Hebriana Anderson, an artist who attended Shen Yun Performing Art’s matinee show at the California Center for the Arts on Dec. 30.
As one who draws and paints as a profession, Ms. Anderson possesses an acute eye for detail and symmetry. She was impressed with the colors, the choreography and the music.
New York-based Shen Yun combines artistic elements into a revival of one of the most ancient cultures in the world, the 5,000 year old, divinely inspired Chinese culture, according to the company’s website. At the core of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance.
“Shen Yun presents colorful and exhilarating performances of classical Chinese dance and music,” states the website. “A performance by Shen Yun is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization.”
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra blends both eastern and western classical instruments, creating a unique and ethereal sound.
The Chinese instruments in the orchestra include the erhu (two-stringed upright violin), dizi, (bamboo flute), pipa, (lute) and qing (chime bowl). Ms. Henderson said she was listening to the different instruments and especially loved the qing.
The Phoenix Dance Stood Out
Professor Paul Bloom, Ph.D grasped the full range of culture embodied in the performance.
“It was an overall package performance,’ he said. “It wasn’t just one individual thing that interested me more than anything else. The music went well with the choreography and the costumes—it was all there.”
Dr. Bloom found the scene of the phoenix to be striking. “I liked the song, I liked the costuming, and I liked the overall effects of how they blended in the visual with the actual performance, and how they jumped up from behind the stage.”
Dr. Bloom said the performance seemed to include universal elements that are not exclusive to any one culture.
“This was meaningful to everybody, not just the people who live in Escondido,” he said, “and I think that as a gesture of goodwill, you can’t do anything more to help people understand the cultural ways of the Chinese, and what they went through for 5,000 years.”
Reporting by Jane Lin, Maria Banks, and Robin Kemker.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will be heading to Escondido for performances at the California Center for the Arts from Dec. 28 to 31.
New York-based Shen Yun has three companies that tour the world each year on a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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