ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Former professional singer Daryl Lanier gave her 81-year-old mother an early Mother’s Day treat—a gift to see the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, the New York based Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Mahaffey Theater on May 5.
Ms. Lanier, who now works for a prestigious legal firm in Tampa, said the extravaganza was “fabulous. We loved the costumes, the choreography, the Chinese culture, the music, just all of it was fabulous,” she said.
Shen Yun was created in New York in 2006 by a group of top artists with a passion to revive China’s divinely-bestowed heritage, almost destroyed after more than 60 years of communist rule, the company website says.
Legends from Chinese folklore together with themes of modern-day China are dramatized through classical Chinese dance, vocalists, solo musicians and a full orchestra that plays a blend of ancient Chinese and modern Western instrumentals in all-original composition.
Ms. Lanier enjoyed the dance Lotus Leaves, she said at intermission.
Behind the leaf of every lily pad, there’s a blossom waiting to bloom, the program book reads. The dancer’s unique full circle fans sway like lily pads in the wind evoking scenes of a flowering lotus garden in the summertime.
“They were like lilies, and the dancers were like—yes, they had the [lotuses on their heads]. I thought it was really … and the costumes were fabulous,” Ms. Lanier enthused.
The songstress also thought the vocalists singing bel canto-style opera “was fabulous as well—the volume, the vocals, and the acoustics here are fabulous.”
She admired the hi-tech animated backdrops that interacted between projector screen and stage.
“That was very clever about how the people come out of the screen. That’s very clever,” she said before rushing back to take in the second half of the performance.
Reporting by Qing Lan and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. The season concludes this month with performances in Honolulu, San Antonio, and Buffalo.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.