PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rebecca Barker and her husband Michael Tinus, both musicians, came to see Shen Yun at Providence Performing Arts Center on Feb. 22 for Ms. Barker’s birthday.
“It’s amazing, the dancers are amazing; the musicians are really impressive. Just the quality of how tight the dancers are with the musicians. I think it’s a well put together performance,” Ms. Barker said.
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 also includes Chinese instruments.
“We were intrigued, that’s why we are here,” Ms. Barker added.
Ms. Barker was also interested in the dances depicting the hardships faced by people in China who are brutally persecuted for their beliefs.
“I had no idea that they were still persecuted for meditating,” she commented, referring to a scene in one of the dances depicting practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong being beaten by police in modern-day China.
Four Friends Enjoy Different Aspects
Another two couples who came together also thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Cherill Petteruti is a senior partner and wardrobe consultant for J. Hilburn luxury menswear as well as an art teacher, and her partner Mark Cahill is a former professional ball player in Seattle’s and St. Louis’s farm systems and now scouts for the Atlanta Braves and also coaches professionally.
As a wardrobe expert, Ms. Petteruti especially liked the costumes: “Beautiful, the colors, the fabrics, the flow, it’s beautiful.”
Mr. Cahill was naturally more focused on the athletic aspect of the performance. “I like the athleticism. I can see the work that’s involved, the choreography of the dances is tremendous.”
Classical Chinese dance combines graceful moves with more dramatic leaps and tumbling techniques, which originate from traditional martial arts.
They were joined by Lisa Mardenli, who works in advertising, and partner Steve Cohen, who works for the federal government.
Mr. Cohen commented on how much he liked Shen Yun’s animated backdrop. “[I liked] the combination of the actors and the movie behind. How they float right into it,” he said. “Great story lines.”
Shen Yun’s animated backdrop transports its audience from celestial palaces to Tang Dynasty pavilions, offering unique insight into China’s long history. The backdrop aids in the storytelling, as performers seamlessly move from stage to screen.
Reporting by Tim Pi 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.