LAS VEGAS—Dance is a universal language that brings people together from around the world. So when Russian-born Las Vegas resident Larissa Solovieva, a classically-trained ballerina, watched Shen Yun Performing Arts’ classical Chinese dance, she enjoyed it immediately.
“It’s very pure, very clean, and I’m enjoying so much the technique. And the training is phenomenal. Yes, I’m enjoying very much the show,” said Solovieva, who attended New York-based Shen Yun’s opening night in Las Vegas at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 27, 2020.
Solovieva was classically trained as a ballerina in Russia in the Vaganova School before she danced professionally with the Russian Classical Ballet and toured the world. “I used to be a classical dancer, that’s the interest to see Shen Yun,” Solovieva said.
Besides the challenging techniques and unmatched forms found in classical Chinese dance that Solovieva appreciated, she felt the performance had a lot of heart.
“It is because it’s so honest and so lovely choreography and the costumes are very traditional, I would say, Chinese. And every single piece is just, I’m admiring the technique and the training as well,” the former dancer said.
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Often our audiences are moved to tears when they see a Shen Yun performance, but they aren’t sure why they’re so deeply touched. All of our artists share a common understanding that in order to create art that is truly sublime, they need to improve themselves as people first. Shen Yun performers meditate together and try to be true, kind and patient individuals. This is our performing arts company’s inner difference. As the ancients used to say, “To elevate one’s mind is to elevate one’s art.”
Shen Yun’s website states, “Classical Chinese dance has its own set of training methods in basic skills and has strict training in both physical expression and specific postures. It also involves learning combinations of leaps, turns, flips, spins, and other aerial and tumbling techniques. It is a vast and independent system of dance.”
“In general, I mean, the first part of the show is just beautiful,” Solovieva went on. “Every single piece, I’m really, really appreciative and I know how hard the dancers work to perform so lightly and effortlessly. I know behind is tremendous … tremendous work and training.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture and share it with the world through ancient art forms developed over China’s five millennia-long history. Classical Chinese dance is only the beginning. Shen Yun also employs a live orchestra comprised of Western and Eastern instruments. Bel canto singers enchant the audience with a technique that was almost lost. And animated digital backdrops astound audience members with its theatrical magic.
“The music is beautiful,” Solovieva said. “It’s classical music. I grew up with that. I appreciate that very much. I play piano myself until now, and all my life, so I love it. It’s a happy place. … The classical music makes you better. Yes, it’s very, very spiritual and classical music and art makes you better as a person.”
If traditional Chinese culture could be distilled into one word, that word might be “spiritual.” China’s past was considered divinely-inspired. Shen Yun carries on that belief and tradition and shares it with the world by staging heavenly scenes, ancient legends, and even modern-day narratives about the unfortunate reality of good people of faith being persecuted in China today.
Solovieva perceived a message in Shen Yun.
“The message that we have to turn back and just live the life with the gratitude and love instead of self-influenced and being distanced from each other. That’s a good message,” she said.
About the significance of Shen Yun to today’s society and the entire world, Solovieva said, “I think American people should appreciate [Shen Yun] because we have to learn about China. I’m Russian, and so I’ve traveled all my life in different countries, people are all the same everywhere, everybody. It’s beautiful the things we share in the cultures and traditions and art. Art doesn’t have a language; it doesn’t have any boundaries. It’s so enjoyable, and you have to share with it.”
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"The first show was terrific! Always good to get underway and be back facing the audience day after day. The audience here in Ottawa especially loved a couple of the funny storylines and some of the surprises in the animated projection, as well as our soprano, Jiang Min. Just all around a great way to start the tour." —Emcee Leeshai Leemish of the Shen Yun World Company gives us 'A Peek Behind the Scenes' after a full house show from Ottawa, Canada.
For the artistic experience and for giving her a better understanding of traditional Chinese culture, Solovieva expressed her gratitude to Shen Yun’s artists.
“I want to thank them so, so very much for a beautiful performance.”
She said she will recommend Shen Yun to others.”As soon as the show is over, I’ll talk to my best friends,” she said.
With reporting by Jana Li and Brett Featherstone.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.