ATLANTA—Classical Chinese dance as presented by Shen Yun Performing Arts was a wonderful gift for Asia Welch, who is on her high school dance team, performs with a spiritual dance group and studies dances of many different origins.
Ms. Welch attended the performance at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on Jan. 8 with her mother, Tiecelin Welch, who works at the Dekalb School of the Arts.
“It was beautiful, I thought it was something that I’d never see in my whole entire life,” Ms. Welch said.
New York-based Shen Yun combines traditional Chinese dance with a stunning digital backdrop, a classical Western orchestra with traditional Chinese instruments, stories, and bel canto style solo vocalists singing original Chinese pieces.
“It was mouth-dropping, it really was beautiful,” Mrs. Welch said.
“This movement was intuitive, and I felt the story and everything,” Ms. Welch said. “I knew what was going on through the music and the movements.”
Shen Yun dancers perform both classical Chinese dance and ethnic and folk dances from the many regions and minority groups of China, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the culture.
In Mongolian Bowl Dance the female dancers balance bowls on their head while demonstrating the dance’s signature shoulder shake. In Tang Dynasty Battleground the male dancers bear carved shields in a finely coordinated dance, showing “loyal hearts and courageous spirit,” according to the program.
“I’m so interested in this kind of dance I want to do it myself,” Ms. Welch said. Her mother said she has a strong interest in Chinese culture—her room is full of Chinese imagery and she is passionately drawn to the ancient civilization.
Classical Chinese dance has three main components: technical skill, form, and bearing. Technique includes the difficult jumping, flipping, and tumbling moves; form puts emphasis on each specific posture and pose; and bearing is translated from a word meaning “inner spirit,” which allows the dancers to be infinitely expressive in the dance.
“The performance was awesome, I loved every moment of it,” Ms. Welch said.
“We will be back again and again, and again,” Mrs. Welch said. “Because we really enjoyed it, it was breathtaking.”
Reporting by Mary Silver and Catherine Yang.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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