PASADENA, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company is finishing its 2011 World Tour where the sun sets over the sand and ocean. The dance and music company began its first of four shows, on April 28, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Among the audience were former competitive ballroom dancer, Stefan Vogel, and his friend, Valentina Reutew. Mr. Vogel is now in Real Estate but retains the eye and feel for dancing. They both thoroughly enjoyed the show.
"It was wonderful," Mr. Vogel said. This was the first time they had seen such a performance. "The music, the costumes, the expression of the dancers, and certainly the dancing. The moves—they were just incredible. It was just a big joy to look at it, to enjoy it," he added.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is a world class classical Chinese dance and music company with the expressed mission to restore 5,000 years of divinely-inspired Chinese culture. The show is replete, as Mr. Vogel commented, with a full, live orchestra combining classical Chinese and Western instruments, as well as hundreds of colorful, hand-made costumes worn by dozens of vibrant dancers.
Mr. Vogel was particularly struck by the dancers.
"What I always enjoy is when I see, of course, balance. That’s a big issue for dancers. These people on the stage, they know what they’re doing. Everything was in tune. It looked incredible, [and] light."
One major component to classical Chinese dance is bearing, the dancer's feeling, or inner expression, that is integrated with the movements and creates something "magical" according to the Shen Yun webiste.
Mr. Vogel seemed to feel the magic.
"The energy on the floor was amazing—very positive energy. I think you don't have to be a dancer or have a dance related background in order to feel what's going on on the floor and feel that kind of energy—that amazed me most," he said.
He continued, "First, I look at the movements, the way they turn their bodies, to the melody and to the sound, and it just fits—what I hear and what I see—it's completely in tune. The lightness, the speed, the balance … they are great dancers out there and I always enjoy seeing that."
Ms. Reutew was also impressed with the show. "It was perfect," she said.
"Oh my … the colors, the dresses, the music, it was incredible. I have never seen something like that. It was my first time, and not the last for sure." She enjoyed the narration offered by the emcees as well as the "glowing" faces of the dancers. "It was amazing, really amazing. You have to see it to feel what we feel right now. It is like amazing," she said.
The couple will encourage others to see the show.
"As long as they are in town, we will tell our friends about it. We will definitely tell our friends about it.
"One of our friends is going to the Orange County show and there is a pretty good chance we might join them again."
Reporting by Cheryl Casati and Albert Roman.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform in Los Angeles at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, April 28-30, and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, May 6-8. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org