CINCINNATI—After seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Jan. 30, Charlene Riva said, “I want to see it again! It was so good that I want to see it again. It’s breathtaking and stunning and something that you have to see in person.”
New York-based Shen Yun brings 5,000 years of Chinese civilization to the world, through both music and dance: classically trained dancers, award-winning singers, and a full orchestra comprised of both Eastern and Western instruments.
Charlene Riva, a teacher, attended the performance with Teresa Riva, a brand manager for Procter & Gamble. “It was so visually stunning—just the colors and the vibrancy in the dancers were beautiful,” Teresa said.
Shen Yun is known for its classical Chinese dance, a system developed over hundreds of years, with each dynasty imbuing it with its own flavor and wisdom—the result is one of the most comprehensive and expressive dance forms in the world.
“It was amazing how they were synchronized,” Charlene said. “They all did it at the same time—they moved so beautifully.”
The evening contains solo vocal numbers as well as mini-dance dramas telling of ancient legends, some that reflect nature, and still others that illustrate the harmony between heaven and Earth.
“I loved the lotus flower that was opening! The lotus flower in the spring. That was so beautiful! And I liked it when they all went up to the heavens. The different people went up to the heavens. I thought that was neat,” Teresa said.
“Rich tradition and rich, rich colors! It was so beautiful that you almost have to go see it to see how beautiful it is! Trying to describe it, it’s hard to describe, but the rich colors were incredible,” Teresa continued.
But in addition to being enchanted with the beauty of the pieces, Charlene felt she really learned something: “It was interesting; I learned so much about the culture that I had not before—from centuries ago—and just all the traditions and the stories whether it was the meatball or the Buddha.”
“They were beautiful stories that kind of wove the dancing and the artistry together with the culture of China,” Charlene said.
Even realizing the depth of the artistry was a revelation for her. “So much more artistry! Really, really beautiful—story telling and artistry and community, there were signs of that that I just hadn’t been aware of before.”
Shen Yun features an entirely new program each season and Charlene will definitely see the show again. “I’m looking forward to seeing it again next year,” she said.
With reporting by NTD Television and Sharon Kilarski
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.