The New York-based Shen Yun Company performed at Music Hall Kansas City this week as part of its Midwest tour. Traveling with an orchestra, world-class singers, and a large company of classical Chinese dancers, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture.
“Everybody is so talented so obviously they are very passionate about what they do,” said Mr. Flook.
Shen Yun dancers present both story-based performances depicting ancient Chinese legends, and folk dances that reveal the breadth of Chinese culture.
Mr. Flook appreciated seeing the variety of the dances with “a whole different cultural story to tell.”
“It’s fascinating how you see so many movements,” observed Mr. Flook. “[It’s] the dance around the world, just done in a different combination.”
Mr. Flook said he thoroughly enjoyed the music, and the history behind what he was hearing, adding that “all the great classical music seems to come out of the refined parts of culture from different countries.”
Mr. Flook also noted the interactive digital background from where dancers seemed to emerge from heaven onto the stage. “The way they use the video with the dance it’s really fantastic; it’s so seamless and it is done so well—really wonderful, and very creative.”
Although Shen Yun tours the world, the one place it can’t go is mainland China. Decades of Communist rule have nearly destroyed traditional Chinese culture in its homeland, especially after the Cultural Revolution—a point made by Shen Yun emcees.
Mr. Flook was surprised that Shen Yun was forbidden in China, but appreciated seeing the different cultural groups representing so many parts of China onstage together. He observed that the performance was “done in a way that is really open and free. I think it is special.”
Reporting by Xiao and Sharon Kilarski.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.