DETROIT—Four members of the Detroit Opera House, unanimously acknowledged that the world’s premier of classical Chinese dance and music company, Shen Yun Performing Arts, was extraordinary.
Retirees, Cynthia Cirar, a former interior designer; Lorna Salmon, former banker; Susan Pennell, a former merchandiser, currently an artist; and Karen Fleury, a former physical therapy assistant, attended the final presentation at Detroit Opera House, Jan.29.
Cynthia Cirar was captivated by the “fantastic” radiance emanating from the colorful handmade costumes. “The fabric—fantastic,” she said. “Very, very beautiful.”
Shen Yun is based in New York and among its many unique features are hi-tech animated projected scenes designed to match the program at hand.
“I love it! And I love how the characters fly down and then pop up on the stage. Very, very innovative, I’ve never seen that before. Very nice,” Ms. Cirar added.
As members of Detroit Opera House, the women had heard about Shen Yun, so reserved seats. “This is our first time, all of us,” Ms. Cirar added.
For Lorna Salmon, who once lived in Australia and visited Thailand and China, the Shen Yun presentation held a ring of familiarity.
“I’m very impressed,” she said. “The colors are very beautiful. The flow and the precision, everything’s so perfect. And they seem to have a very good time doing it. They enjoy it. So I would come again, yes, it’s been very nice.”
Not only was Shen Yun new to her, she also discovered classical Chinese dance, and traditional dances of the different ethnic groups from out of China’s vast region.
“I didn’t realize this was Chinese classical [dance and music]. I didn’t know what ‘classical’ was—so that I’ve learned.”
Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years and is a complete dance system embodying its own form, bearing, and technique, according to the Shen Yun website
Susan Pennell said, “I think it’s very elegant and graceful and I’m learning a lot—a little more about the culture. I love the stories in the background where the character comes off the screen. I think that’s very charming.”
Hi-tech backdrops transport the audience to another world. Projected behind the dancers, the digitally-enhanced backdrops lift the stage and set it amidst blossoming landscapes, deep forests, Mongolian prairies, or celestial paradises, the website says.
“I’ve had a smile on my face ever since the show started. So it’s a happy, happy, happy time,” she reiterated.
“I love the costuming, I love the colors, the color choices, combinations and the scenery in the background is painted beautifully. Because I’ve never been to China and this is a good chance for me to get a glimpse.”
For Karen Fleury, the Shen Yun performance was fabulous. “I really enjoyed it. It’s beautifully directed and the colors are very beautiful.”
She was also captivated by the hi-tech backdrops and the interaction between stage and screen projection.
“I love the way they transition onto the stage—that’s unique I’ve never seen anything like that. And they’re just fantastic.”
Like her friends, Ms. Fleury will tell others Shen is “fabulous, you have to see it.”
Reporting by SOH radio network and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture.
The Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company, one of Shen Yun’s three equally large companies.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.