ATLANTA—Shen Yun Performing Art’s opening night at the lavish Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre sold out. Since the company gave one of its very first performances in Atlanta in 2006, each year more performances have been added. The audience on Saturday gave the performers a standing ovation.
“It’s a must see,” said Amy Dryan, who works in a laboratory at Emory University. She said Shen Yun is unique. “It’s something you’re not going to see outside of this performance.”
Ms. Dryan said the details of the costumes are extraordinary. For example, in the Mongolian Bowl Dance, the backs of the costumes have leaf-shaped sequins, and the light shimmered and reflected from them as the dancers did a subtle shoulder shake.
“I thought that detail was considerate of the audience,” said Ms. Dryan. “We were sitting close enough to see it, but someone farther in the back would see the reflected light, so they could see the movement.”
“It was really gorgeous; the whole piece was very beautiful,” said Ms. Dryan.
The performance of New York-based Shen Yun, all new every year, features a set of mini-drama dance pieces that are less than ten minutes each.
“Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises,” states the company’s website. “Whether set in the past or in contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values. Ideals of loyalty, filial piety, and veneration for the divine are cherished and celebrated. Heroes are extolled for their compassion and tolerance as much as their courage or determination when facing adversity.”
Ms. Dryan said she was surprised by the abundance and variety in the performance.
Ms. Dryan was accompanied by her father, Francis Mazzochi.
Mr. Mazzochi smiled warmly and said, “I was struck by the grace of the dancers.”
“Such elegance in the way they moved—not just their fingers, but when extending their feet, all their extremities,” he added. He was a civilian employee of the Army and is now retired.
Ms. Dryan found the handkerchiefs in the dance An Early Spring very beautiful and said she was intrigued by how they were weighted for throwing.
Cobb Energy Center is modeled after a European opera house, with excellent acoustics, red velvet upholstery, Murano Glass chandeliers, and a mural of the muses.
Shen Yun will be performing in the even more lavish Fox Theatre, also in Atlanta, Jan. 8-9. It is a rescued movie palace with an Egyptian theme, twinkling stars in the ceiling, and intricate tiled surfaces.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will be performing at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Jan. 5-6, and at Fox Theatre from Jan. 8-9. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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