Classical Dance Director Moved, Intrigued

March 19, 2009 Updated: March 20, 2009

TULSA, Okla—Ms. Raju directs an Indian dance school in America's heartland. Her school preserves a narrative, folk and classical tradition. The Kripala dance tradition includes expressive hand gestures, facial expressions, and narrative dances. Part of its roots are dances meant to show reverence for the sacred. She was well equipped to appreciate Shen Yun Performing Arts. When she saw the company perform in Tulsa on March 18, she was touched.

"You can have the technical aspect, you can know the theory, but you have to dance from the heart, and that’s the one thing that was so beautiful about this entire program is [that] each and everyone of the artists … were dancing from the heart.

"That comes when you have passion, and that is what makes a show, it makes or breaks it. This one is so from the heart. I mean the hope and everything that they said throughout the entire sequence, you can feel it.

"By the end of the show, you feel very inspired and that can only happen when the artist, the orchestra, [and] the choreographer have put in more than just the technical aspect, which is the heart and mind. Everything comes together, I don’t even know what to say. It was just truly wonderful.

"It was amazing. I loved it, I couldn’t take even a second my eyes off of it, so it was wonderful. It was just breathtaking."

As a dancer and dance teacher, she evaluated the performance with a knowledgeable eye. She said she found the choreography and the execution very professional and intriguing. She said "It was just wonderful to see, it was a big privilege to see this."

India is China's neighbor, and the two ancient civilizations have a long relationship. One of the dances, The Udumbara Flower, uses some dance vocabulary which evokes Indian classical dance.
  
Ms. Raju said, "Indian dance of course is very precise, accurate, you can always see similarities in how the choreographer has the artist movement." She found the dancer's synchronization "just amazing, amazing. From a classical point of view, every single dance, every single step was just so beautiful to watch and it was so very creative. I just loved the way they took everything together and combined it, so it was just really good.

"The costumes, wow, the costumes were just phenomenal. I just loved the way for every sequence they chose certain colors to go with it," said Ms. Raju. She praised the color choices in Flowing Sleeves and Mongolian Chopsticks. Soft, peach-sherbet-colored silk sleeves on blue and yelow dresses express feminine dignity and grace in the first dance. The second one has bold, primary colors. "The colors they chose were so wonderful, it really went with every one of the dances, it was just vibrant."

"And that is one thing, the Indian classical dance … has a lot of vibrant costumes, so this was wonderful. It was very nice to see that. The costumes were very elaborate," said the dance teacher. All the costumes are original Shen Yun designs. The color combinations are different for each dance or musical solo, and coordinate with the digitally projected backdrops.

"One of my favorites was Mulan [Mulan Joins the Battle]. That was amazing. I loved the drums." [Dragon Springs Drummers and Drummers of the Tang Court] In addition to those two drum dances, drums are featured in the opening and closing dances. "They were just wonderful, the drums were very good. See that’s just it, I can’t pick one specific one. Everyone was just amazing," said Ms. Raju.

NTDTV, a media partner of the Epoch Times, contributed to this article

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Shen Yun Performing Arts 2009 World Tour. For more information please visit shenyunperformingarts.org