HARTFORD, Conn.—Associate professor of graphic design Nancy Wynn was a former ballet dancer, and so felt a deep appreciation for what Shen Yun’s dancers were achieving on stage.
“The dancing was wonderful,” she said.
“As a former dancer, I see strength in their conviction to dance how they want to dance, to their ancient craft and their compassion for their history.”
Wynn attended the performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at The Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 20.
The New York-based classical Chinese dance company was founded more than a decade ago with a vision to revive traditional Chinese culture through the arts. Since then, the company has grown to include six equally-sized contingents that tours the world every year performing an all-new program replete with music, dance, and stories from China’s ancient past to the present.
The educator, who teaches at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, was captivated by the intricacies of the dance moves executed on stage.
“I … loved seeing the footsteps and the arm movements. And a lot of the dance was wonderful to watch,” Wynn said.
Classical Chinese dance has been refined over thousands of years and has a complete system of movements and expressions, including difficult flips and tumbling techniques.
Besides the visual spectacle, the educator said it was phenomenal to see the artists take their ancient craft and use it to raise awareness about abuses taking place in China today.
“I think it’s a beautiful way of using art to speak from an artist point of view about what troubles them, or what they want to say, against certain human rights violations,” Wynn said.
The educator was referring to the stories depicting the persecution of practitioners of spiritual practice Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party. The practice was banned by the regime two decades ago due to its immense popularity which was perceived as a threat to the party’s totalitarian rule. Thousands of practitioners have been imprisoned for their belief, many of who have been tortured and killed.
Besides the dances and stories, Wynn enjoyed the music and in particular the erhu solo. The erhu is a two-stringed Chinese instrument that is capable of producing a range of sounds capturing the breadth of human emotion.
As an expert in graphic design, Wynn was also impressed by the 3-D projection, including how it was incorporated in the storytelling, which she said enhanced the performance. The vibrant colors were another highlight, she said.
Wynn, however, was not only dazzled by the external beauty of the production, she could sense something additional coming from the performers.
It was their “beauty inside, inner beauty coming out.”
With reporting by NTD Television.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.