Painting Artist Says Shen Yun is ‘Visually Stunning’

February 27, 2012 Updated: March 1, 2012

ROCHESTER, Upstate N.Y.—The trio Polly Hunsberger, Alice Demauriac and Julio Sanchez came to see Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, on Feb. 26.

New York-based Shen Yun has “a mission to reclaim and renew the true, divinely-inspired cultural heritage of China,” says the company’s website.

Ms. Hunsberger, a retired cello teacher at Eastman School of Music, who has played in the Philharmonic Orchestra, said after the performance: “Amazing, just amazing.” She was intrigued by the wonderful sound of the Chinese instruments in the Shen Yun Orchestra, calling the combination of the classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments “first class.”

Ms. Demauriac, a painting artist, said she was impressed by the opening scene, An Era Begins. “The opening, they took my breath away,” she said. In this piece the curtain opens to reveal a regiment of celestial soldiers, preparing for a battle between good and evil, says the program booklet.

“The costumes are amazing,” she added. “They’re just so colorful and very imaginative.” Clothing has always been an essential part of China’s five-millennia-old culture. Each costume is meticulously designed and hand sewn says Shen Yun’s website.

Julio Sanchez, a mechanical designer, commented on the timing and seamless transition of the performers from the interactive backdrop to the stage. “Another thing that was really great, was the timing of the filming of the choreography when they jump out, it was timed perfectly. Very nicely done,” he said.

Shen Yun’s animated backdrop complements and synchronizes all aspects of the performance, transporting the audience to a world “where heaven and earth are one,” according to the website.

All three found the flexibility of the dancers extraordinary. Ms. Demauriac mimicking Lotus flowers, Mr. Sanchez rotating like a wheel, while Ms. Hansberger said she liked the coordinating of the scene with the dance and the coming down the mountains. “Yes, the opening of the rock”, sighed Ms. Demauriac.

As an artist, Ms. Demauriac said: “Visually it’s stunning. It’s almost too much for me to take in all at once. I’m going to have to see it three or four times to absorb it all.”

Reporting by Gary Du and Ron Champagne.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at Greenville’s Peace Center on March 1.

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