CINCINNATI—When Heidi Campbell received tickets to Shen Yun Performing Arts as a Christmas gift, she instantly knew she had to take her friend Eileen Neiman, a former dancer, with her. The duo travelled over an hour from Dayton, Ohio to attend the Feb. 8 performance at Aronoff Center, and had a fantastic time.
“We loved the show—it was beautiful, it was colorful, it was well done,” said Ms. Campbell, a retired school teacher. “We loved the whole production.”
“The choreography is amazing, it was wonderful, couldn’t have been better,” added Ms. Neiman, who danced ballet since childhood and now does ballroom dancing.
Ms. Campbell said she knew she had to take Ms. Neiman to Shen Yun because “no one would appreciate it more.” She was not mistaken.
“It was just beautiful to see and I came to be entertained,” said Ms. Neiman.
“The way they choreographed everything was beautiful—it’s a wonderful evening.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company with a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
Ms. Neiman appreciated Shen Yun’s two bi-lingual emcees, who explain the meaning behind each story-based dance in both Chinese and English, before it plays out on stage.
“I liked the fact that in between [dances] they were speaking the language so that you not only saw the dance, the choreography and what they tried to produce, but you heard the language that they speak,” she said. “I really liked that combination of the two [emcees].”
Ms. Campbell enjoyed the reoccurring themes and images of the natural world in the performance. According to traditional Chinese beliefs, man must strive to life in harmonic balance with nature.
“I think the whole thing is connected to nature,” she said.
“The leaves, is what we liked the most,” added Ms. Neiman, referring to images on Shen Yun’s digitally animated backdrops. “They looked like [real] leaves.”
One of the most memorable moments for Ms. Neiman was a dance entitled An Early Spring, which features many female dancers simultaneously twirling colorful handkerchiefs with quick, lively dance steps. The piece symbolizes the change of seasons with winter giving way to spring with a colorful burst of life.
“I loved that performance,” said Ms. Neimann.
“There were so many beautiful costumes,” added Ms. Campbell.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Justina Wheale.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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