ROCHESTER, N.Y.—More than two thousand years ago, Chinese ladies of the court would dance with long silky water sleeves. Their graceful movements emphasized their elegance, modesty, and inner beauty.
These movements have been captured in ancient statues and since passed down through classical Chinese dance, one of the oldest and most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
Today, Shen Yun Performing Arts is reviving not only the beauty of these dances, but also the inner values they express. Its performances can be seen on the international stage, although not yet in China, their birthplace, where the rich culture has been battered by the ruling atheistic communist ideology.
For Samia and Khan Zahid, the experience of watching New York-based Shen Yun at the Rochester Auditorium Theatre on Sunday night left them with a greater feeling of respect for the depth of Chinese civilization.
“It’s a rich history, a rich country and it’s good to know that there are people who are still practicing it, keeping it alive,” said Mr. Zahid, a former chief economist and professor for some of the world’s largest financial institutions.
“Tradition is thousands of years of wisdom and you don’t want to lose that,” he added.
The beauty of the costumes and the dancing left the couple with a good feeling.
“It is very graceful, it is very elegant,” said Mr. Zahid. He noted that he feels that every movement had a meaning to it, one that can be better understood the more cultural insight one has. But even without being familiar with the Chinese culture, one could understand the universal themes, he felt. “Universal values in love and peace and prosperity and happiness. These things, everybody will have these values.”
“It’s very well coordinated,” added Mrs. Zahid, a kindergarten teacher. She also appreciated the distinctness and colorful beauty of the Chinese culture.
“They are holding their tradition, it’s a rich tradition that is very impressive,” Mrs. Zahid said.
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.
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.