Updated 3/30/12 1900 EDT with a follow-up email by Ms. Edge, the interviewee.
WASHINGTON—When you take photographs for a living, you come to learn what good things look like.
So when Deb Edge, a professional photographer, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center on March 21, she knew what she liked.
Shen Yun presents colorful and exhilarating performances of classical Chinese dance and music, says the company’s website. A performance by Shen Yun is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization.
“I think it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s visually just gorgeous. It’s just lovely. It’s visually stimulating,” she said, standing beside her theater-going companion Jim Matthews, who is retired.
Ms. Edge takes photos of Europe and its architecture, and her work has been featured in media reports.
“The costumes are gorgeous,” she said of Shen Yun. “I love watching everyone dance, how limber they are. They just seem to fly across the stage. It’s like the stage breathes with them.
“There’s not a moment that something is not happening on that stage. It’s constant movement, like the ocean. I just think it’s beautiful.”
Initially, Ms. Edge was not sure she wanted to see the performance, but said she was very glad she came. “It’s stunning. I love beautiful things, and it’s pure beauty up there. That’s the way I feel.”
She said she had a friend who came back from China recently, and who Ms. Edge will exhort to see the show. “I’m sitting there thinking: I have to tell her to come see this.”
Update: Ms. Edge on March 30 wrote to the reporter an email, which she gave permission to publish, elaborating on her impressions of Shen Yun. It appears below in edited form.
“Having returned to our seats after our conversation, I was more aware of thinking about what I was seeing and feeling. My overall take on the show is that it is like watching the pages of a fairytale come to life! As each page is turned, the characters begin to breathe… to fly… to dance! It was just an amazing performance! And the sparkle! That was one of my favorite things about it. I am sure that to someone who has not seen the show yet, to hear that statement, they may think it an empty one. But it was as though the sparkle was the breath of the performance! That which “sparkled” made “real” what may have otherwise been just another fairytale.”
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 The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., through April 1.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org