FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—Taking in Shen Yun Performing Arts’ presentation of classical Chinese dance and music gives ballet teacher Anja Zini “an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility.”
Ms. Zini attended Shen Yun’s inaugural performance with her husband Hernan Zini, a cruise ship captain, on Friday Dec. 26 at the Au-Rene Theatre, Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
“I feel I could watch it over and over and over. It’s beautiful,” Ms. Zini said about Shen Yun.
Ms. Zini completed her formal education in dance in the UK, and has performed leading roles in numerous dance performances including ones in the UK and in Broadway. In the UK, she performed in The King and I, Alice, and the Sleeping Princess, among many others, and in the United States, she was the lead female in Broadway’s Jean Ann Ryan Productions of Will Rogers Follies and Cabaret and many others. She has also taught dance in many different countries for years.
Commenting on the dances in Shen Yun as a dance professional, Ms. Zini said she was inspired by the performance.
“It was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. The choreography, all the formations … very clean technically, all very together, very graceful. I think it’s an inspiration,” she said.
“As a professional, I completely and utterly respect what they did, I think they’re very unified on stage.
Many elements in the performance add to the experience of the audience, including the orchestra that combines classical Western instruments with traditional Chinese instruments, and the hundreds of colorful hand-made costumes.
“I thought the music was enlightening and the colors of the costumes … it was a beautiful experience.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun presents classical Chinese dance and music. According to Shen Yun’s website, classical Chinese dance is “one of the most rigorous and athletic, yet exquisitely beautiful at forms in the world.”
Ms. Zini said she found the performance “so harmonious” and also reflected on some of the themes she saw in the story lines told through the dances.
“The parts of the dance that they were showing, the difficulties obviously that they have experienced or the country has experienced, they show that you can overcome, the worst types of tragedy in the world if you just keep going and you believe,” Ms. Zini said.
“They show a lot of strong belief … spiritually, it’s very strong.”
Indeed, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive “the true, divinely inspired culture of China and share it with the world,” according to the company’s website.
Echoing his wife’s admiration for the performance, Mr. Zini pointed out that Shen Yun artists perform with their “soul”, and yet present a flawless performance.
“I think it was clearly a lot of love for what they do. A lot of hard work, hardship, but also kindness, an element of peace and kindness that really makes you feel how they center everything around the human being, family, the communities,” Mr. Zini said about the Shen Yun artists.
“I think that they bring something special to this world, that you can become modern but still keep those critical values of the Chinese society. I think they’re very important.”
Ms. Zini said everyone should see Shen Yun “If you love music, you love dance, you love art, and you love true professionalism.”