MINNEAPOLIS—“Mesmerizingly beautiful, stunning, so beautiful and light on their feet, it’s just awe-striking,” said Mrs. Jennifer Markson, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at the Minneapolis Orpheum Theatre.
“What about you, Mick?” Mrs. Markson asked, turning to her husband after the Feb. 22 performance. Mrs. Markson, a paralegal, was trained as a dancer for years.
“Very fun, very different, nothing like I’ve ever seen before,” answered Mick Markson, owner of Marks Systems, a software design company.
The couple was enjoying a performance of New York-based Shen Yun, a company reviving 5,000 years of divinely inspired dance, principally through the vehicle of classical Chinese dance.
“It’s very disciplined—so much discipline, yet elegance in their dance. That’s impressive, and just very, very light on their feet—incredible. I mean, dancing so high in the air and coming down so softly! Just very disciplined in watching each other, so in sync with mind, body, spirit. Very impressive, not like—I was in dance for 13 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Mrs. Markson said.
Regarding the cultural aspects, Mr. Markson was curious about some beliefs presented in the show—the inclusion of gods and spiritually. He had not known that Chinese people had these kinds of beliefs. He now intends to do some studying about China.
The couple enjoyed one visual aspect of the show immensely—Shen Yun’s digitally animated backdrop. The dance called ‘Sand Monk Is Blessed’ depicts a classic story of Chinese lore: “Heavenly children emerge to lure the man-eating ogre out from the river, but the ogre finds that these children simply cannot be caught, and is instead caught himself,” as described in the program notes.
Mrs. Markson explained that they enjoyed “how they had the video involved with the dance and how they came out and went onto the screen, and vice versa.”
The animated backdrop has figures appearing onscreen seemingly come to life onstage, where live performers take over their roles.
Mrs. Markson repeated her comments about the beauty of the performance: “I mean the costumes and the incredibly beautiful faces on all of them—mind-blowing.”
Reporting by Stacey Tang and Sharon Kilarski
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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