Company CXO says Shen Yun ‘Spectacularly Athletic’

By Abraham Thompson, Epoch Times
January 12, 2015 5:37 am Last Updated: January 12, 2015 10:53 am

SAN FRANCISCO—Sunday’s crowd enjoyed another sold-out Shen Yun Performing Arts performance at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House.

According to the local Shen Yun presenter, partial-view areas of the theater were opened up all weekend to accommodate ticketing demand.

Among the theatergoers was Alder Yarrow, CXO (Chief Experience Officer) of San Francisco-based Cibo, who brought family members to see the matinee performance. Mr. Alder runs the brand experience agency, whose clients include Tesla, Commonwealth Bank, Google, Disney, and Restoration Hardware.

“It was pageant-like—wonderful costumes, very colorful, very interesting, sort of regional expressions of different places and ethnic groups in China, which is really interesting,” said Mr. Yarrow, commenting on the performance.

Mr. Yarrow appreciated how Shen Yun’s emcees introduced each dance piece in both English and Mandarin.

“One of the nice things is that the emcee … sort of guides you through and explains to you how this dance comes from this region of China, this dance comes from another region of China. So that was really helpful,” said Mr. Yarrow.

Tonight was Mr. Yarrow’s first experience with Classical Chinese dance.

“It can range from the lyrical to the pretty fast-paced,” said Mr. Yarrow, who often attends the ballet. “A lot of it involved many multiple dancers in formations, and I don’t know if that is pretty typical of Chinese or not, but that was interesting and sort of different from your typical Western situation.”

Mr. Yarrow said he really enjoyed Shen Yun’s choreography.

“I thought the dancers were spectacularly athletic,” he said. “Being able to leap up and do all sorts of different things—so that was very impressive.”

Shen Yun’s program book states, “Months of effort, and of course a little inspiration,” goes into creating a completely new production every year.

“The costumes were remarkable, and just really, really beautiful,” Mr. Yarrow said.

According to the company’s website, “Every detail [of the costumes] is given meticulous attention and is a result of artistic inspiration and careful polishing. The designers stress harmonic balance and contrast.”

Along with classical Chinese dance, a Shen Yun performance also features ethnic and folk dances as well as story-based dance pieces.

“The Chinese fables are really fun and very interesting,” Mr. Yarrow said. “I’m actually familiar with the Monkey King stories, so that was fun.”

The Shen Yun dance titled, Monkey King and the Skeleton Demon, relives a part of the famous classic novel from China called Journey to the West, where the Tang Dynasty monk, up against all odds, prevails once again with the help of the Monkey King.

Accompanying each dance piece is the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Milen Nachev. The orchestra “blends two of the world’s greatest musical traditions, Chinese and Western,” according to the website.

“The music was fantastic,” Mr. Yarrow said, “and a really wonderful blend between the Western instruments and Eastern instruments, that complemented each other really well. I normally tend to think of Chinese instruments as having a very different tonal scale than Western instruments, and I guess they somehow made them all work, it was really neat.”

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.