RALEIGH, N.C—Can’t get enough.
Lily Elnaccash, a high school student, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts for the sixth year in a row on Saturday.
“I enjoy it; I look forward to it every single year,” she said.
New York-based Shen Yun harmonizes dance, music, and digital backdrops into a performance renowned across the world, from Paris to New York.
At the core of the company’s performance is classical Chinese dance, a rich art form that contains “deep cultural traditions” from the 5,000 year old culture, according to Shen Yun’s website. The dance has a unique set of training methods and includes learning leaps, flips, and other tumbling techniques, as well as a myriad of hand postures.
“I love seeing Chinese traditional dance,” said Ms. Elnaccash. “I have a lot of friends who are Chinese at school, and they go to Chinese school to learn the language every week. They tell me about the dance, but I don’t get to see it very often, and I enjoy it so much.”
And what compels her to keep coming back?
“There are new dances every year and beautiful traditional fan dances; the scarfs that they twirl; sleeves; [and] hearing beautiful new musical pieces,” she said. She spoke after seeing Shen Yun at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
I enjoy it; I look forward to it every single year.
Beginning at the dawn of the Chinese civilization as envisioned in stories and legends passed down through the millenia, Shen Yun takes audiences through different time periods, dynasties, and areas across China. Several dance pieces depict modern day China, including the persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong.
The immensely popular mediation practice, with its guiding principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, reached an estimated 100 million practitioners in 1999, just seven years after its introduction to the public, according to Shen Yun’s website. Yet the ruling Chinese Community Party, with an ideology “in stark contrast with the traditional culture of China, has targeted Falun Gong for persecution.”
Ms. Elnaccash finds the subject matter in these dance pieces very relevant.
“Seeing them depict the persecution of Falun Dafa in China, I just think that tonight they brought that message to hundreds of people who might not have known about otherwise,” she said. “I think a lot of people in America might not be aware of that, and I think that they’re spreading that message to many, many people.”
In conclusion, what would Ms. Elnaccash tell her friends about Shen Yun?
“I would tell them,” she said, “to come see the show.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Zachary Stieber.
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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