RALEIGH, N.C.—“I was mesmerized from the beginning all the way through the end,” said Ms. Suzie Johnson of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ matinee at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts on Jan. 20.
Ms. Johnson, the Administrative Coordinator for Duke University, said it “couldn’t have gotten it any better. I mean, it was fabulous.”
“Absolutely fabulous. The colors were beautiful. The dances were phenomenal. The storyline was unbelievable,” Ms. Johnson said of the New York-based company’s performance.
“Through universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends and heroic modern-day epics,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
Also in the audience was Mr. Fenwick English, a professor of Educational Leadership at UNC-Chapel-Hill.
“I think it’s fabulous, wonderful, really,” Mr. English said. It was the first time he’d seen classical Chinese dance, and Mr. Fenwick thought the movements were special.
“[They’re] very different, very fluid, very flexible, and the costumes are wonderful. They really go and accentuate the very flexible movement, very good,” Mr. English said.
He noted the remarkable unity and technical skill of the artists. “I think the synchronization is really superb. … I don’t know how they do it,” Mr. English said. “It is perfection. It’s wonderful.”
Classical Chinese dance has helped preserve 5,000 years of Chinese culture, according to Shen Yun’s website. “Built on traditional aesthetics, it was once passed down among the people, in imperial courts, and through ancient plays,” the website reads. “Over thousands of years, it was constantly refined, eventually developing into the vast and distinctly Chinese dance form we know today.”
“This dance is just visually stunning,” said Ms. Tina Belle, and accountant, who attended the performance with Mr. James Kempski, a real estate broker.
“I love the show. It’s beautiful,” said Ms. Belle, who was attracted to the show because of her love for Chinese culture.
“It’s also spiritually moving too because it’s so graceful and the dancers are wonderful. It’s just watching the move and the dances; it just touches you, the whole thing,” Mr. Belle said.
“It’s very educational. It gives you a feeling of what’s happening over there,” Mr. Kempski said. Shen Yun stories range from “ancient legends to heroic modern day epics,” according to the website. One of the dances touched upon the persecution of spiritual beliefs in China today, and Mr. Kempski said he liked that dance [An Unexpected Encounter] very much.
Ms. Belle added that she appreciated Shen Yun’s effort to present traditional Chinese dance, as a show like this is not allowed in China today.
“Don’t let this dance, this old fashion die,” Ms. Belle said.
Reporting by Sally Sun and Catherine Yang.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will visit Charlotte Jan. 26-27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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