BIRMINGHAM, Alabama—With its portrayal of 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture with masterfully choreographed classical Chinese dance, stunning colorful costumes, a live orchestra, and breathtaking scenes projected onto the backdrop, Shen Yun Performing Arts impressed the Birmingham audience with its opening show at the BJCC Concert Hall on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 1.
Audience members spoke of their experience watching Shen Yun with delight and said they came out of the show knowing more about China’s rich history and culture.
Bill North, a retired lawyer, said he enjoyed the performance very much.
“I thought it was very beautiful,” Mr. North said, while praising the skills of the dancers and their ability to perform the demanding movements of classical Chinese dance.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world.”
Mr. North said he was particularly interested in the dance piece that shows the persecution of Falun Gong in China today by the communist regime.
According to the Shen Yun program book, in a plot that mirrors countless present-day stories of Chinese families torn apart, this piece called The Steadfast Lotus, shows a mother and daughter who practice Falun Gong being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.
Barry Bruce, a chaplain at a local hospital, said he was also touched by that piece.
“I know that something is still going on today, people who don’t understand trying to control and abuse people because of political reasons or things of that nature,” Mr. Bruce said.
He said he was also interested to see the role of the divine and faith in Chinese culture.
Dr. Yugi Vaid, a radiologist at a children’s hospital, said he was interested to see the spirituality in the Chinese culture as well.
“All those slow dances, and the meditative [parts], all were very beautiful,” Dr. Vaid said.
With reporting by Zhelin and Omid Ghoreishi
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.