WASHINGTON—Shen Yun Performing Arts continues to delight and amaze theatergoers throughout its North American tour.
Two senior bankers were in the audience at the Kennedy Center Opera House on Saturday, March 24.
Kevin Shaner is senior vice president of Middleburg Bank in Virginia. He is also a commercial relationship manager and community executive with the bank.
He said he found out about Shen Yun through the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, and this was his first introduction to Chinese culture and history.
“It’s amazing, it’s the first time I have seen the show. I was really surprised by the dance and the costumes and the singing. It was just very impressive to get the combination of the history with the beautiful dance and the costumes—just an incredible production to watch.”
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company. Throughout the performance, the masters of ceremonies explain a little about the history, ancient legends, and meaning behind classical Chinese dance, and the different movements.
“I wasn’t familiar with so many stories, so I was really enjoying the host and their discussion of some of the background, and the context of the stories,” Mr. Shaner said.
Shen Yun’s dances portray the rich history of ancient China, as well as stories of contemporary life. Throughout the performances, the spirit and values of the traditional culture are displayed.
Mr. Shaner said he thought that some of the themes are universal across cultures.
“The conflict between good and evil is something that we all understand at some level even if you aren’t familiar with the Chinese culture, so I think it’s a universal theme that everybody can relate to, and learn more about through the performance,” he said.
“It’s just such a diverse show, with so many different historical and modern themes, which is just great to watch.”
‘It’s been very fascinating’
Ray Friday, mortgage banking, senior vice president and regional manager, was with Mr. Shaner. He was also seeing Shen Yun for the first time, and was very impressed with what he saw.
“I love seeing the history and culture of the Chinese people and how [Shen Yun] are bringing the old culture in with the modern times. It’s been very fascinating.”
“I have always enjoyed Asian culture and it’s nice to see this in the roots and to understand where it all came from.”
A trademark of Shen Yun is its striking images projected behind the performers. Many of these backgrounds are animated to synchronize with the choreography of the dancers.
“I love the coordination between what’s on screen and then they pop up into live action. It’s been very well coordinated as the figures come in off the screen and onto the stage,” Mr. Friday said.
He said he was surprised and pleased to see the contemporary stories showing life under the current Chinese regime.
“We were a little bit surprised to see the Tiananmen Square portrayal,” he said, referring to the dance The Choice, a dance in which a young man who is a policeman in China must choose whether to protect his close friend from college. She is a follower of Falun Dafa, which has been persecuted in China for more than a dozen years.
“Glad to see that we are bringing that to light and making sure the world understands the suppression that the Chinese people are still under even today,” he added.
“It’s been really, really good, very impressive,” he concluded.
Reporting by NTD Television and Rebecca Hunnisett.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., through April 1.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org