SALT LAKE CITY—To the trained eye, dance is much more than entertainment. Dancer Paige McNamara said Shen Yun Performing Arts did just this after she was left fascinated by the artistry of a performance on Aug. 7.
“I love the cultural influences that the dancing had. I love culture, dance, world dance, and seeing it on stage professionally done for the Chinese culture was fascinating to me,” Paige said. “Someone who grew up with ballet, balletic influence, seeing classical Chinese and folk dancing … it was beautiful to watch.”
Shen Yun’s dancers, who are based in New York, are trained in classical Chinese dance. This dance form allows for the expression of a full array of emotions. Shen Yun’s performances also include folk dance styles that present the diversity of China’s different ethnic groups.
“It must have taken them years to perfect that,” Paige said.
As someone who understands the work that goes into a stage production, Paige said she was impressed to see Shen Yun’s use of a digital backdrop that added another dimension to its storytelling.
“I was very impressed with the level of technology used. They used the special effects to make it culturally beautiful … breathtaking,” she said.
Paige was also touched by the spiritual side of the Shen Yun performance.
“I think something that was very inspiring was Buddha … and how we are brought here and have several lives to prepare for heaven,” she said of one of Shen Yun‘s performance pieces. “That was fascinating to see.”
Since Shen Yun’s conception in 2006, the company presents an entirely new production every year. According to its website, it presents to the world “China before Communism.”
Paige said that she has been “begging” to watch Shen Yun for many years now, and this year, she finally got her opportunity.
“I am so blessed to watch it,” she said. “I felt a very strong, beautiful energy. I felt very spiritually connected to the show.”
With reporting by Sunny Chen and Maria Han