CHICAGO—“That lotus episode [The Steadfast Lotus] was beautiful,” said Richard Imming, referring to a particular dance piece performed by Shen Yun Performing Arts during the company’s show at the Civic Opera House, on April 3. “It’s a beautiful story, and goodness is rewarded. I like that; that’s what our children should learn,” he said.
Mr. Imming, an attorney, attended Shen Yun with his wife, Judith, who has an avid interest in Eastern culture. The couple has traveled to Japan and China.
At the heart of Shen Yun’s performances is the incredibly expressive dance form of classical Chinese dance. According to the Shen Yun website, classical Chinese dance is known for its fascinating flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, and is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world.
“I think they tell a story very nicely, beautiful,” Mr. Imming said about Shen Yun’s dancers. He also marveled at Shen Yun dancers’ physical ability and techniques.
“I’m fascinated by the physical movements. I think it’s absolutely fascinating the way they move in an athletic or even a gymnastic way, and to learn that it’s really just dance is fascinating to me. I’m very impressed with their athletic ability,” he said.
In fact, many moves in gymnastics originate from this dance system, as brought out during the performance.
“We’re very pleased with the narration because it helps us to understand what we’re going to see. It’s very helpful to those of us new to this,” Mrs. Imming said of the bi-lingual emcees introducing the 20 or so dance and music pieces of the evening.
Presentation of Chinese Culture
Shen Yun, based in New York, presents the cherished values of China’s ancient culture, believed to have been delivered from gods to man. These values have been eroded through years under communist rule, according to Shen Yun’s website.
“I think what’s happening there is very sad,” Mr. Imming said. “I think that communism that has destroyed the freedom of this kind of culture is very sad.”
Mr. Imming felt that his 16 years old grandson who’s studying Eastern cultures would be very interested in everything they would bring home.
In fact, he felt that way himself, saying that he is happy to have the program book. “Now I’ll take it home and read it with great appreciation for what I have already seen,” he said.
Reporting by Stacey Tang and Sharon Kilarski
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.
The 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