THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—For the second night in row, tickets were “sold out” for Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Fred Kavli Theatre for the Performing Arts on Jan. 23.
U.K.-based Singer Georgina Leahy was among the audience members enjoying the New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company.
Ms. Leahy is a graduate of the London Theatre Center, she has toured with the British “Top 10” musician Adam Ant providing backup vocals, and she was part of the semi-finalist group called Girls Roc in Britain’s Got Talent.
About Shen Yun, she said, “I absolutely love it. The performers are amazing. They’re so in unison; everything’s perfect.”
She noticed in particular the way the dancers’ costumes are used as part of the choreography.
“It’s just amazing how they can be all in unison with their costumes,” she said. “Costumes aren’t even part of your body, but they’re managing to work them in a way that makes them part of what you see. I thought that was magical.”
In many of the pieces, the dancers’ long sleeves or other costume elements move together in original ways. The effect is visually stunning and energy-filled.
Shen Yun tours to over 100 cities worldwide each year on its mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Each performance is a collection of pieces that capture the spirit of this ancient heritage.
The company’s website states, “In less than 10 minutes each, Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises. Whether set in the past or contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values.”
Ms. Leahy said she really enjoyed a piece called When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor.
“I love the ‘wow’ factor,” she said. She liked the jumps, flips, leaps, and spins as well as the humor portrayed by the dancers.
Of the male dancers, she said, “I just love the energy. I love the elevation.”
She also appreciated the elegance of the female dancers. “It’s like they’re floating across the stage,” she said.
Other aspects of Shen Yun that touched Ms. Leahy were the solo vocalists. She said their voices were beautiful and amazing.
The singers use the bel canto vocal technique while singing Chinese lyrics, which is unparalleled in the world today. The lyrics contain philosophical reflections about life.
Reporting by Albert Roman
Shen Yun Touring Company will be at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles, Jan. 25-27.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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