NEW YORK—Katharine Cirrinicione, a dancer and fitness teacher, admired the technical skill and grace of the classical Chinese dancers in Shen Yun Performing Arts at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on April 26.
“I know how hard they are working, I know how technical they are,” she said, “but they make it seem so effortless, so light. It was beautiful.”
The New York-based company features the world’s best classical Chinese dancers. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture, according to its website. Mini-drama dance pieces present legends from Chinese history as well as scenes of contemporary life.
“I did not realize how technical Chinese dance was,” Ms. Cirrinicione said. Classical Chinese dance includes three components, one of which is technical skills—flips, jumps, and turns. Form is another component, including precise movements and postures that require “the perfect coordination of every part of the body,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
Bearing is the last component, which Shen Yun describes as a “particular inner spirit.”
Classical Chinese dance developed over thousands of years, explains the website, “Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.”
Ms. Cirrinicione was also impressed by the use of props in the dances. Ribbons, handkerchiefs, and bowls, are just a few of the implements incorporated into the artistry of Shen Yun’s original Chinese ethnic and folk dance compositions.
“It was very interesting seeing how they used the props, the scarves, the shields,” she said. “How they used all those props was very cool.”
In addition to classical Chinese dance, the Chinese dance art form includes ethnic and folk dance, characterized by dance styles rooted in popular local traditions.
These are distinguished from classical Chinese dance, which transcends regional differences and has a foundation of systematic training and technical skills, according to Shen Yun.
Reporting by NTD Television and Tara MacIsaac.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is performing at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through April 28.
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.