WATERBURY, Conn.—Former dance student Aimee Puskar came to see Shen Yun with her mother at the Palace Theater.
“I thought it was amazing,” said Ms. Puskar and her mother “thought the stories were beautifully done.”
New York-based Shen Yun revives China’s rich 5,000-year-old culture, displaying ancient legends, ethnic dances, and classical Chinese dance, as well as scenes from contemporary life in China. The performances are accompanied by a traditional Western orchestra that includes Chinese instruments.
“The music was beautiful, the live orchestra was amazing,” said Ms. Puskar, but she was even more thrilled about the unique animated backdrop. “I liked the way the characters jumped into the screen, that was really neat how they did that,” she said.
Shen Yun features a one-of-a-kind digitally animated backdrop. Blending projection technology with ancient culture, Shen Yun’s animated backdrop presents scenes from celestial palaces to Tang Dynasty pavilions, giving audiences insight into China’s long history. The backdrop aids in the storytelling, allowing performers to move from stage to screen.
“The countryside is beautiful. Seeing the show with the big screen in the background and seeing the different landscapes really would make someone that knows nothing about the country see how beautiful it is,” added Ms. Puskar.
As a former dance student, she was very impressed with the skill of the dancers. “I felt like there is like a space between the feet and the ground, they were so light, strong, effortless,” she said and her mother agreed: “It did seem effortless, beautiful.”
Classical Chinese dance combines graceful moves with more dramatic leaps and tumbling techniques. “It is able to transcend ethnic, cultural, and even linguistic barriers, taking this well-established Chinese culture and presenting its essence to the world,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Ms. Puskar was also intrigued by the dances depicting the hardships of modern people in China brutally persecuted for their spiritual beliefs. “I learned something, too,” she said. “I did not know that they are not allowed to meditate in [China]. I have never even heard of that particular [Falun Gong] practice, I had no idea.”
“I want to learn about the injustice, how people can’t continue with their traditions over there, but they can do so here. It’s not fair. There is a lot to learn,” she said.
She was very happy to have attended the performance and recommends it to her friends. “I will tell them to go see it.”
Reporting by Hannah Cai and Valentin Schmid
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.
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.