ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Max Caston left Mahaffey Theater feeling wonderful after seeing New York-based Shen Performing Arts, the world’s leader in classical Chinese dance, on Feb. 7.
Mr. Caston, a retired electronics engineer and former president of Boffin Ltd, was in attendance with real estate broker Mary Ann O’Grady.
“I enjoyed it. It’s very uplifting. … The music is beautiful. The colors, the dancing,” Mr. Caston said.
“Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture,” says the company website.
Mr. Caston loved the integration between the backdrop screen and dancers.
In one scene, animated celestial beings fly off the screen precisely appearing on stage as humans and at the end of the dance. They would disappear off stage only to reappear animated again on the screen and seen flying off fading into the distance—just like magic.
“Yes, they are beautiful. The way they kept the timings so well to get everything going at exactly the right time is great; must take a lot of practice,” he said.
“Shen Yun’s mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day,” the website explains.
“A unique feature of Chinese civilization is that its history has been documented and passed down uninterrupted for 5,000 years, sometimes in vivid detail. This provides Shen Yun with vast source material, making it possible to revive this ancient culture on a present-day stage,” the website also states.
“Oh, the stories are very good. I could follow them, once they explained what’s going on, and then I could see the story in the dancing … that is very interesting,” Mr. Caston said.
He enjoyed the New York-based Shen “the whole way it was going from start to finish … I got to see that the whole theme is good versus evil. So it’s almost like a Western,” he said, chuckling.
Ms. O’Grady shared her views. “It’s excellent. I’m really enjoying it. I’m amazed at the backdrops, and what they are doing with that. The dancing, simply, is just elegant and beautiful. The whole show is beautiful—nothing not to like.”
Ms. O’Grady was especially impressed with the dancing, though she added, “There was all so much to sink in. So beautiful together—it was just wonderful!”
She would tell others that they shouldn’t miss seeing Shen Yun.
“This is an experience; they shouldn’t miss this. The whole, plus the culture, the learning, everything about it is wonderful. It is about the Chinese culture.”
Reporting by Kerry Huang and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.