ESCONDIDO, Calif.—“The show is beautiful, it’s beautiful,” said Lorraine Collins, Ed. D., Dean at San Diego Community College. Ms. Collins, along with her daughter Kelsi, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at the California Civic Center in Escondido, Calif. Dec 31.
Ms. Collins, particularly appreciated, “The colors, the movements, the intricacies of all the different movements, and the differences in the cultures.” Shen Yun embraces the true diversity of China, showcasing the unique dances and cultures of China’s ethnic minorities, according to the Shen Yun website. Over 55 different ethnic groups exist in China today.
“Many American’s tend to assume that Chinese culture is one, and it is not. So specifically differentiating among those different areas, and the different cultures in China is particularly beautiful,” Ms. Collins continued.
According to their website, Shen Yun presents dances deeply immersed in rich ethnic hues. With its unaffected but splendid ethnic costumes, Shen Yun takes audiences on an insightful journey across China’s vast terrains.
“Overall, I think it was beautiful. I thought it was extremely well done, how it covered all the different cultures and corners of China. The costumes were just incredibly beautiful with the dance, and the flow, and the movement,” Ms. Collins said.
Ms. Collins brought her daughter, Kelsi, to see Shen Yun because she has studied Mandarin Chinese since the 6th grade. “I’ve learned a lot about the culture just from her,” Ms. Collins said, “So I thought this would be a nice gift for us to come to this.”
Kelsi felt that the stories and dances in Shen Yun opened her eyes to a new side of China. “I think that the show really opens up a window for Americans, because it shows there isn’t just the government, there is a whole entire country, and there are things inside of that country that really we haven’t been exposed to, and this gives us a chance to open that window up and see what’s inside,” she said.
Shen Yun’s dramatic dance pieces draw upon legends that span China’s 5000 year history, from the days of the Yellow Emperor all the way to the modern day.
“I think that the experience really opened up new doors. There were certain things, like Dafa, I didn’t learn about at the many Chinese experiences that I did have, and it opened up a whole new level, how the country and the people are fighting to have this belief … and it was beautiful because they incorporated the dance in the movements, and the way they held their hands.
“At the end of it, it all made sense, and anything that wasn’t covered, was covered, and it was a beautiful piece, and it was completed very nicely, ” Kelsi said referring to a dance titled An Unexpected Encounter, that tells the modern story of the persecution of the spiritual practice of Falun Dafa.
Kelsie especially appreciated the skill of the dancers, and the beauty of the dance. “To me a lot of American dancing, my generation has gotten used to hip hop dancing, and pop dancing. This [performance] sort of gives you … a chance to see something more in depth, more cultured, more meaningful, dances that actually tell a story.”
Reporting by Sally Sun and Robin Kemker.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will be performing in Sacramento from Jan. 2 to Jan.3.For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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