Archeology Professor Digs Shen Yun Costumes, Serenity, and Action

April 16, 2011 Updated: April 16, 2011

CHICAGO—The Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company graced the stage at the Civic Opera House Friday night in the Windy City. Despite the cold rain, theatergoers like John Hageman, archeology professor at Northeastern Illinois University, turned out to witness Shen Yun's splendor.

Mr. Hageman enjoyed the hundreds of handmade costumes.

"They are very colorful and I think they add to the dance, in a sense of the way of when the dancers move, the costumes enhance the fluidity and the visual appeal of the movements.

"There’s a lot of flowing, especially with the women’s costumes," he said. "I just think it makes for a more visually appealing performance.”

Mr. Hageman commented on the range of dance pieces that portray stories and legends from China's long history, including the pieces Herding on the Grasslands and Little Mischievous Monks, both of which feature vigorous movements by male dancers.

"I think because some of the pieces are very contemplative … I see something like a swan on a placid lake, very peaceful and serene,” he said. “But some of are full of action and life, just like the Mongolian dancers we just saw, and the mischievous monks."

"They are just very vibrant, I just see it like happy, boisterous children. It’s just very lively and makes me smile," he said.

“I enjoyed the performance a great deal."

Reporting by Mike Chen and Andrew R. Darin.

Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform at Chicago's Civic Opera House through April 24. For more information, visit