PHILADELPHIA—Shen Yun Performing Arts took the stage at Merriam Theater on Saturday evening and enchanted its audience with a presentation of China’s divinely-inspired 5,000-year-old culture.
Peter May, a wealth advisor for private clients, and his daughter Sarah May took in the performance—and they were happy they were there.
“It’s very comforting, very soothing,” said Mr. May. “I loved it.”
Classical Chinese dance—one of the most complex dance forms in existence—is at the heart of Shen Yun, which is based in New York. The dancers are accompanied by an orchestra that melds classical Western and Chinese instruments. An animated digital backdrop and brilliant costumes add visual splendor to the performances.
The dancers often use props to help illustrate the stories they are performing on stage. Scarves, which are mostly used by female dancers, caught Mr. May’s eye.
“I loved the fluidity of the scarves, and watching them spin instead of spinning like a traditional ballerina, they’re tilted toward the audience,” he said.
“It’s a connection of their arms, too, it’s more than just a prop,” observed Ms. May.
The dancers particularly impressed Ms. May, who is a dance enthusiast.
“I thought it was fascinating. I love dance in general, but I haven’t seen anything quite like this one because it was so fluid,” she said. “How they danced—not just the movement, just the whole being—it was just like water.”
“And everyone’s so animated, their facial expressions—you almost don’t even need to see the story, you can just tell by their expressions as they perform,” she added.
Mr. May said that the way the digital backdrops are utilized—at times dancers appear to hop into or out of the scenery—helped tell the stories better.
Overall, he said that the performance was something he’d definitely enjoy seeing again.
“The part that’s nice is I’d want to come back and see it again or see it from a different angle, where you can watch part of the stage and get a story, but then you’re looking around,” he said. “It’s almost like being a kid in a candy store, you’re not sure where you’re supposed to look. For me, it’s like Christmas morning—Which gift do you unwrap first?”
Reporting by NTD Television and Zachary Stieber
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.