ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Robin Hanson, who works in financial services, escorted his wife, Holly Hanson, to the Shen Yun performance at the Mahaffey Theater on May 5.
“I’m incredibly impressed. … I’ve been totally fascinated with the performance. It’s fantastic!” Mr. Hanson said.
The audience gave the artists a standing ovation. Both Mr. Hanson and his wife, who works in the hospitality industry, commented on the cultural diversity of the performance.
“I love that different areas are represented. I love that Taiwan is represented, and Tibet,” Mrs. Hanson said.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Chinese ethnic and folk dance represents a vast and varied assortment of traditional dance styles. Chinese ethnic dance generally refers to the dance forms passed down among the many minority ethnic groups within China.”
This year’s performance includes a Taiwanese Amei dance called In the Mountains and a Tibetan dance called Khata for the Gods. A khata is a traditional scarf that is presented to guests. In the dance, it is offered as a sign of reverence and devotion.
Mr. Hanson said he felt all the varied historic and legendary stories in the dances formed a coherent whole: “From the lotus dance [Lotus Leaves] to the Monkey King dance [How the Monkey King Came to Be] and all of these little stories, they’re really interesting. They’re all different, but they all kind of connect. It’s about people and their beliefs and how [the Shen Yun performances] … connect with everyday life.”
Experiencing Shen Yun gave him a good feeling and also showed him something new, Mr. Hanson said. “I feel good! It’s very inspirational. It’s interesting. It does teach you about the Chinese culture and the many years that make up that culture, and it’s interesting to see it expressed in the dance.”
“It’s absolutely beautiful to watch,” Mrs. Hanson said. Speaking of the enthusiastic audience response, she said, “We can really identify, especially with the screen background—how it interacts with the real people dancing.”
Mr. Hanson was also impressed with the digital backdrops, a unique feature of Shen Yun performances: “The visual presentation from the animation on the screen and how it all ties in to the performance on stage—I’ve never seen anything like that. Very entertaining!”
Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company, one of Shen Yun’s three companies that tour the world, performed in St. Petersburg.
Reporting by NTD Television and Mary Silver.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.