MINNEAPOLIS—Shen Yun Performing Arts took the stage at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday evening, the first of three performances the New York-based company will perform in the city.
“Amazing athletes,” said Donna Holtan-Halverstadt, artist and philanthropist. “Beautifully choreographed, beautiful sets. I liked the show very much.”
Shen Yun has three equally large companies traveling the world with one mission: “to revive the 5,000 year old, divinely inspired culture of China,” according to its website.
“Unfortunately, over the past 60 years, this cultural treasure has been persecuted and co-opted by the Chinese Communist Party. It is outside of China that Shen Yun’s artistic creators have the ability to freely express themselves and their ancient culture.”
Mrs. Holtan-Halverstadt was treated to this grand display of ancient culture by her husband, William Halverstadt, for her birthday.
She particularly noted several dances. Lotus Leaves, where “lotus maidens are at their ease when dancing atop the waters,” and Sleeves of Silk, where ‘water sleeves,’ “acting as extensions of a dancer’s arms … linger in the air long after a movement is finished,” according to Shen Yun’s program book. “The effect is akin to fluttering wings or trailing ripples, a visual echo of the performer as she glides from one movement to the next.”
Mrs. Holtan-Halverstadt also enjoyed the Joyful Little Monks. “On a bright morning, apprentice monks gather to tidy up the temple with brooms, basins, and washcloths,” states the program book.
“Eager to do well, they put their hearts into their work—with fun and humorous results.”
“That was so fun and they’re so energetic,” she said.
Mr. Halverstadt showered the performance with words like “lovely, ambitious, [and] energetic.”
The opening dance really made an impression on him, particularly the drummers in the piece. “I was so impressed,” he said. “I can’t get it out of my mind.”
The building donated to the community, by Mr. and Mrs. Halverstadt, is now the new home of the Resource Center of the Americas in Minneapolis. The center has cafes, a bilingual book store and offers programs catering for the community’s needs.
Reporting by Yang Chen and Zachary Stieber.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company has two more performances in Minneapolis and then will be at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University, in Indianapolis for two performance, March 13 and 14.
For more information, please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.