SAN JOSE, Calif.—Shen Yun's New York Company performed the fourth and last 2011 performance at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, April 10, once again amazing the audience with their talent and skill.
Vince Damelio, a programmer who does a fair amount of his work in graphic design, has come with his family for the last four years and was there yet again with his daughter.
“Every year they change the dances, the costumes,” he noted. For him, the most impressive piece was the Ladies of the Tang Palace, whose lovely dancers wear a unique Tang style of clothes said at the time to be inspired by the heavens. “The movement was very fluid,” Mr. Damelio said. “The way the women were able to dance and move was just spectacular.”
“The way the guys are able to do flips and the acrobatic aspects combined with the traditional style of dance” also impressed him. Some seemed to him to represent more of a Western style; but “some aspects of the flips—uniquely—I've only seen in the Chinese style of dance.”
Classical Chinese dance training addresses three components: form, bearing, and techniques. Form includes the many poses and movements unique to the dance style. Bearing refers to a dancer's integration of his or her inner expression and movements. Techniques include these impressive flips that Damelio so readily picked out. People sometimes recognize similar moves in martial arts, acrobatics, or gymastics. Their actual origin is in classical Chinese dance.
“It was just amazing to see how they must be incredibly strong to be able to do some of those things and make it look so effortless, so fluid … [To] combine it with the fluidity and the artistic nature of the music. Really impressive overall,” he said.
In addition to his work in graphic arts-related programming, Damelio had some undergraduate experience in theater, particularly in light and sound, giving him a unique perspective and heightened appreciation of the performance.
“Some of the stage stuff that they've done has been pretty amazing.”
He noted the back of the stage which featured a digital background that complemented and interacted with the dancers on stage. They make “it look like it's almost seamless,” he said. “The Monkey King scene, where it looked like the pig was actually flying up—the way he was able to duck down … My daughter … thought it was the same guy.”
With reporting by Chun Lin and Beth Lambert.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will next perform in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 13. For more information please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org