“It is beautifully choreographed, it’s graceful, all the dancers are perfectly in time. They look like they are floating on air, it’s really beautiful and really perfectly executed,” Hutchison said on March 12, 2020.
“I really loved learning about all the different regions and the different folk and also ethnic culture as well,” she added.
Shen Yun, which translates to “the beauty of divine beings dancing,” aims to uplift and inspire theatergoers by reviving the spirit of China’s 5,000-year-old culture. The performances New York-based Shen Yun showcases include ethnic and folk dances from the plains of Tibet to the sprawling plains of Mongolia.
What lies at the heart of every Shen Yun performance, however, is classical Chinese dance—a dance form that is both technically challenging and highly expressive.
Hutchison said she used to dance a long time ago. “I used to do Polish folkloric dancing … I can appreciate good choreography when I see it,” she said. “And this [Shen Yun] was sensational, definitely good.”
According to the company’s program, “within classical Chinese dance, we find China’s rich cultural heritage. Its movements are deeply expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity. It can depict scenes from any story of any time period, any myth, legend, belief, or value in a strikingly vivid way.”
“Even though there’s no spoken words you can totally understand the stories,” Hutchison said of the dances.
A Shen Yun program consists of vignettes that through story-based dance, retell classic Chinese myths and legends, as well as notable events from China’s rich history from ancient times to the present day.
“Just seeing how beautifully the dancing is executed—that is what moves me,” Hutchison said.
According to Shen Yun’s website, “For 5,000 years, a divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”
Hutchison said that if she were to tell others about the show, she’d tell them to “definitely see it,” adding that Shen Yun is “a beautiful experience, a learning experience.”
With reporting by NTD Television and Mimi Nguyen Ly.