KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Kansas City is the last Midwest city on Shen Yun Performing Arts World Tour, with three evening performances, May 5-7, at the Music Hall in downtown KCMO.
From famous sports figures to well known entertainers, producers, and musicians, they all speak highly of Shen Yun’s portrayal of traditional Chinese culture through the universal language of dance and music. Shen Yun offers a journey of 5,000 years in which audiences enter heavenly realms, ancient legends and see modern heroic tales, for two hours of pure entertainment.
Carl Peterson, former Kansas City Chief’s president, general manager and CEO for 20 years, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts in New York this season. Mr. Peterson said that Shen Yun is “not just good, but fabulous—the colors, choreography, dancing, the movement. … Terrific athleticism. A number of the guys could be outstanding NFL wide receivers, running backs.”
King Carl, as many in KC know him, attended the performance at the Lincoln Center with his wife, Lori Peterson, senior architect for Populous Sports Architecture. She was equally enthusiastic about the performance and said, “There’s passion in the stories, and it’s just so beautiful.”
Shen Yun has both a male and female dance team that perform separately and together with classical Chinese dance as its primary medium for telling the stories in the mini-dance dramas.
This independent system of dance is very demanding in its athleticism, both in physical expression and special postures. A little known fact is that gymnastics and acrobatics originated from classical Chinese dance.
Boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard, saw Shen Yun in southern California with his wife, Bernadette, and said, “We love the show … The culture is so wonderful. It’s so beautiful—the colors, moves, dances and everything else. It’s so amazing.”
Mr. Leonard was also impressed with the male dancers and said that they were unbelievable and very tight.
Craig Nelson, Emmy award winning actor known for the T.V. series “Coach,” said, “The professionalism of this group is just extraordinary. … Obviously they have worked so hard at what they do, and it shows. It just comes across as effortless, beautiful, elegant, very, very moving, down to the tiniest gesture. Just down to the tips of the fingers.”
Classical Chinese dance is known for its rich and expansive expressive power. Through beautiful dance movements, even the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings can be expressed. Yet, the dancing and the original music of the live orchestra cannot be separated—both come together to express the stories.
“The emotion that was portrayed, not only just on stage, but with the sound and the movement of the orchestra… how that brought so much life to the stage… ,” said Roger Tallman. He is a seven-time Emmy award winning composer/producer for large-scale sporting events, TV, and radio programs, and has composed for the past Superbowl and Olympics to name a few accomplishments.
“I think the idea that [they are] bringing Chinese instruments into the Western orchestra, it’s so unique that it has to catch your attention,” Mr. Tallman explains. “That’s what moved me the most within the music.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra has seamlessly blended Western and Eastern instruments and systems to create one fresh, harmonious sound, states the Shen Yun website. Audiences hear the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of Chinese instruments to express China’s 5,000 year-old civilization.
“It was very uplifting, inspiring and at times—very deep …, said David Eaton, composer, music director and conductor at the New York City Symphony. “I think that the bringing together of the Eastern and Western elements [instruments] is very effective. I enjoyed it so much.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006