NEW YORK—Standing ovations and roaring applause closed the final performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company in New York City on Feb. 21 for its 2010 tour. Following its performance at Radio City Music Hall, the company will head for Rochester, while other Shen Yun companies will perform in South Korea and Norfolk, Virginia.
The backdrops are a unique element in the show of dance and music. The full digital backdrops include vast landscapes and animated images that merge seamlessly with the on-stage performance. They add an extra layer of depth to the performance that allows the dancers to take the audience on a journey through China’s various dynasties and ethnic regions.
Harry Phillips, a member of the New York State Board of Regents, said the show was “beautiful” and he and his wife, Marge were particularly fond of the backdrops. The Regents supervise all educational activities in New York State and also oversee the University and the New York State Education Department.
“I love what they do with the backdrops, it's amazing,” Mr. Phillips said, adding that he enjoyed “the motion and having the live action blend into the background.”
Mrs. Phillips was also impressed by the backdrops and how they were utilized in the dances. “They’re so imaginative. The way they had the two come together was wonderful,” she said.
The performers of Shen Yun use the vast art of classical Chinese dance. Its movements allow a dancer to portray nearly any character or culture, ranging from elegant court dances to energetic martial arts-style movements.
In addition to dance, Shen Yun also includes various stories and legends, among which is a tale from the classic Chinese novel, “Outlaws of the Marsh” where the great martial artist, Wu Song, battles a tiger. Another dance, "Splitting the Mountain" tells the story of San Sheng Mu, and features twirling battle spears mixed with flips, turns, and other fluid movements of classical Chinese dance.
Abdul Bilal, a scanner copy operator, came to see Shen Yun with his nephew, Reajn Mannen. Both like traditional Chinese culture.
Mr. Bilal said he used to go to Chinatown in the 70s to watch Chinese films. He also studied martial arts. He said he enjoyed the use of classical Chinese dance to interpret tales of martial arts masters. “It was good to see it in person. I've seen it in a lot of movies, but when I see it live, it's good,” Mr. Bilal said.
“The show was excellent,” said Mr. Bilal. “It was a very, very good show.”
Reajn Mannan, Mr. Bilal’s nephew, also has studied martial arts. He said, “It was very exciting. I loved it. I also like the effects they made and they dance really well.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform next in Rochester, New York at the Rochester Auditorium Theater on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28.
For more information, please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org