BUFFALO, New York—Shen Yun Performing Arts brought the audience to its feet at its Thursday night performance at Shea's Performing Arts Center, delighting the nearly full house, including Buffalo City Comptroller Andrew SanFilippo and his wife Sandy SanFilippo.
"I enjoyed the show immensely," said Mr. SanFilippo. "The synchronization of the dancers, the choreography, the athleticism—it was superb. "
His wife agreed.
"It was beautiful. I loved the stories," said Mrs. SanFilippo.
Shen Yun Performing Arts draws inspiration from China's rich 5,000-year history. Many of its dances bring the myths and legends of ancient China to life on the stage, as well as the spiritual essence of traditional Chinese culture.
"I think it was an introduction to another dimension of Chinese culture that we here in America don’t always get to see," said Mr. SanFilippo.
Mr. SanFilippo was elected to Comptroller in 2004 and re-elected unopposed in 2007. Outside of his work in public office, he also sits as a director or board member on several community, civic and government financial organizations.
"We only hear the communist China aspect of what we know about China. We don’t know about the culture, we don’t know about the people, we don’t know about the history, we don’t know about the beauty of China. We know about the wall and tremendous gymnastics, tremendous athletes. I think what you saw there from an artistic standpoint—the talent of the cast—it was very very enlightening and impressive.
"It was inspirational in true culture to espouse the other elements of the Chinese culture, and I think they did it in a very effective way."
"The dances were all different too," said Mrs. SanFilippo adding that she was mystified by how the dancers could memorize so many dances of such intricacy.
“They must have practiced forever. And it was beautiful, it was just beautiful."
The couple said they enjoyed that the show had deeper elements to it as well and took a lot from the themes presented in the performances.
"I think the message is ‘Be true to yourself,'"said Mrs. SanFilippo.
"Be true to yourself and your principles. Stay true to your principles and ultimately you will achieve your goal," added her husband.
Besides dealing with historical China, Shen Yun also touches on contemporary issues with two dances set in modern day China.
"There was culture, there was the singing, the choreography, the instrumentation, and then the hammer and sickle. I like the way they blended in the message in between the arts."
The couple said they would be back and like to bring friends. Mrs. SanFilippo, who works as a speech therapist for children, said she thought the children she works with would love the show.
With its Buffalo performance done, Shen Yun now heads on to Cleveland. The other to companies of Shen Yun are in Europe and Australia.
With reporting by Madalina Hubert
For more information, visit, www.ShenYunPerformingArts.org .