PHOENIX—”The very first number, when the curtain opened, I was very touched by the ensemble. It almost gave tears to my eyes. I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Christina Nebe spoke of her experience watching Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Orpheum Theatre on April 6.
Ms. Nebe, who owns a vacation rental company, was very happy that she made it to the last performance of the eight in Phoenix, as part of Shen Yun’s 2016 world tour. “It’s excellent. I’ve never seen anything like this here in Phoenix. Obviously, it is very well arranged and very harmonic,” she said.
As the world premier Chinese dance and music company, Shen Yun’s hallmark is classical Chinese dance, which features many difficult jumping, flipping, and tumbling techniques. According to Shen Yun’s website, these classical Chinese dance techniques were later adopted by gymnastics.
A gymnast when she was young, Ms. Nebe was particularly impressed by the techniques of the Shen Yun dancers.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the traditional Chinese culture, which has been nearly destroyed under communist regime. “I don’t understand why [Shen Yun] cannot be shown in China. The communists are blocking the traditions. This is very hard to believe,” Nebe said.
“I’m glad that Shen Yun is bringing us some of the other side of China, the cultural side, to the United States,” she said.
‘Shen Yun has opened my eyes’
Celeste Folsom is a marketing and advertising professional. She and her mother, Dawn Honeywell, watched the Shen Yun performance on April 6 as well.
Ms. Folsom was very impressed with Shen Yun’s dancers: “I have a dance background. I can tell they are very well trained. Every single person in the group is doing a very beautiful job. Everyone is well placed. They all have perfect technique.”
Ms. Folsom danced ballet and jazz while growing up. “It’s very nice to see the different cultural dances that I’ve never seen before. The dance with the platform shoes is really fun,” she added, referring to the dance called “Manchurian Maidens,” which features elevated “flower pot” shoes of the Qing Dynasty.
“I love the fact that the costuming blends in and becomes a part of the dance. It’s really interesting to see a beautiful culture and its history,” said Ms. Folsom’s mother.
Ms. Folsom said that Shen Yun enlightened her to the fact that communism in China oppresses spirituality and traditional culture.
“I really liked the dance with the husband and the wife practicing the meditation. It really opened up my eyes to what’s going on in China,” she said, about a dance in which people of faith are arrested and tortured by state police.
“It’s beautiful, very beautiful culture,” she said.
Reporting by Alex Ma and Sophia Fang
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.