KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Ella Rogers’s husband, Brett Rogers, had wanted to see Shen Yun perform ever since they have known each other, and on April 2 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was his first opportunity to do so.
Mr. Rogers’s reaction to the performance at intermission was: “It’s wonderful!”
Ten years ago, a group of artists gathered in New York to form a dance and music company to offer to the world true and authentic Chinese culture, as well as pure classical Chinese dance. They couldn’t do it in their homeland of China due to the suppression by the communist regime of traditional culture.
“The performance is great, but, more than anything, the message is profound—like I’m watching this because I live in the U.S. and they can’t even see their own dances in China—that’s kind of incredible,” said Ms. Rogers, who is an engineer.
She grew up learning ballet from age 3 to about 15, and dance provides her a very emotional experience. She felt the same while watching Shen Yun, “I get kind of teary eyed.”
Shen Yun is the premier Chinese dance and music company in the world. Few in the West have known much about classical Chinese dance until recently. Much of what has been seen from Chinese troupes is a mix of classical Chinese dance and other dance forms such as ballet, modern, and jazz, states the Shen Yun website.
Ms. Rogers found the dance to be very interesting. “I think the biggest difference between this style of dance and classical [ballet] is … the posture. I find it really fascinating—the posture is just very delicate, especially with the women. I was really looking forward to come to see that.”
What Ms. Rogers is referring to are the elements of classical Chinese dance—bearing, form, and technical skill. Bearing is “formed by a combination of something resembling cultural DNA in Chinese people’s bones, together with the heritage of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization,” according to website. It is the “internal spirit, breath, intent, personal aura, and deep emotional expression.”
Form means the hundreds of exquisite movements and postures, and technical skills are the difficult jumps, leaps, turns and flips.
Ms. Rogers wanted the dancers to know “They are all beautiful. It was some of the best dancing I’ve seen for a long time—very in sync.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.