CHICAGO—Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was back for the second year in a row. She attended Shen Yun Performing Arts last year and returned this year on May 11 to see the cultural performance at its new venue, the Cadillac Palace Theater.
"I am always impressed by the athleticism of the dancers and the great variety of the performances … so this is also a great show," she said.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company, based in New York, brings traditional music and dance to the world with three companies that tour simultaneously. It aims to restore 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture.
At the heart of the performance is classical Chinese dance, a system of dance that developed over thousands of years. One of the characteristics of this dance is difficult tumbling and jumping techniques—hence Ms. Preckwinkle's description of it as athletic.
One of the 15 dance programs that Ms. Preckwinkle enjoyed was Sand Monk Is Blessed. In it a river ogre terrorizes a village until the beloved characters of the Monkey King and Pigsy come to the rescue.
Thus, along with its athleticism, classical Chinese dance is the chosen expression of Shen Yun to bring forth the countries rich legends, myths, and actual stories from history.
In addition to the athleticism of the dancers and the variety of the performances, the impression that Ms. Preckwinkle is left with overall "is the beauty of the costumes."
Shen Yun costumes span different dynasties of China as well as different regions, with traditional folk costumes on display.
The very ethnic nature "of the China that's represented in the dances—I think when we think of China we usually think of the Han Chinese, but there are really a lot of ethnic groups of China that were represented in the show," Ms. Preckwinkle said.
In addition to classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun brings forth a variety of folk and ethnic dances from the more than 50 different ethnicities in the country, thus bringing to life the breadth of China's peoples.
"I think it is good to have people exposed to the arts of different cultures and races. This is really an opportunity for those who are not Chinese to become acquainted with Chinese traditional dances and music," she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and on Sharon Kilarski
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
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.