Expression and Purity Through Classical Chinese Dance

January 2, 2016

DALLAS—The contrast of femininity and masculinity in Shen Yun’s dancers caught the eye of Kathy Langer, senior tennis world champion and former Dallas Tennis Association president.

“It’s beautiful. The color and the dancing is amazing. It’s beautiful,” she said after seeing classical Chinese dance for the first time through Shen Yun Performing Arts. She attended the matinee at the Winspear Opera House on Jan. 2 with her daughter Tammy Starnes and granddaughter Samantha.

Ms. Langer noted the softness of the movements and color when the female dancers performed, versus the change in music and the masculine tone when the male dancers came out.

Classical Chinese dance, a form that has developed through the dynasties, is thousands of years old, but little known in the West. The 5,000 continuous years of inherited culture is almost hard to fathom.

“That’s hard to grasp, that long of a tradition, because we don’t have that here,” Ms. Langer said.

As Shen Yun explains, classical Chinese dance was perpetuated through folk traditions, imperial court performances, and ancient theater.

The dance form is one of the most comprehensive systems in the world alongside ballet, with its own fundamentals and techniques, plus an emphasis on the bearing, or inner spirit, of the dancer.

Cindy O’Brien, who writes memoirs and teaches yoga, thought it was “absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.”

“The movements were so pure and just beautiful, very light. It seemed like it was just fresh and innocent, just beautiful, nothing like it,” Ms. O’Brien said.

Ms. O’Brien, like many audience members, noted the grace and lightness with which the dancers moved across the stage.

The default step for the female dancers in classical Chinese dance is a quick heel-to-toe, mini-“floating step,” according to Shen Yun’s website. Combined with the costumes and the use of a digital backdrop, Ms. O’Brien found the effect to be “matched so perfectly.”

“I just like how they flow, and how they do it so graciously,” Ms. O’Brien said. “When some of them were dancing, they were holding in time, it was so amazing.”

Reporting by Mary Yuan and Catherine Yang

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.

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.