Shen Yun Dancers Float on Air without Trickery, Says Magician

January 10, 2015 12:53 pm Last Updated: January 10, 2015 12:53 pm

SAN FRANCISCO—In the words of the world-renowned magician and author Michael Stroud, a.k.a. “Magic Mike”, the seamless fashion by which Shen Yun Performing Arts dancers move on the stage makes it seem like they are “floating in the air without any trickery.”

“I mean, just clear skill. It was amazing,” said Mr. Stroud.

Mr. Stroud is a 12-time award-winning magician, and has authored many books on magic, including the best-seller “Book of Magic,” which has sold over 2 million copies. He came to see Shen Yun’s performance at the War Memorial Opera House with fellow performer Jeanne Perry on Jan. 9.

Mr. Stroud was particularly impressed with Shen Yun’s use of animated digital backdrops that interact with the stage with great precision. In some of the scenes, characters even fly in and out of the screen with precise timing.

“It was fantastic,” Mr. Stroud said about Shen Yun.

“I loved the colors, and all the sequences and the interaction with the multimedia. It was seamless the way the dancers were popping on and off the screen, it really caught me by surprise.”

He was also so moved by the music of the performance that he wanted to pick up a CD from the Shen Yun Orchestra.

“I love the music, it was fantastic,” he said about the original scores played by the Shen Yun Orchestra, which combines traditional Chinese instruments with Western instruments.

Ms. Perry, a dancer and user experience designer, had great appreciation for the amount of hard work Shen Yun artists have put into the performance.

“Just amazing,” she said.

Ms. Perry has been dancing since she was 14 years old in genres of ballet and modern, and also performs acrobatics. She has also done performances alongside Mr. Stroud as part of the Magic Time Productions shows.

As a dancer herself, Ms. Perry said about Shen Yun’s dances, “I really appreciate all the synchronization and the beautiful costumes. The movements were dynamic and flexible and strong, just incredible.”

She was just as equally impressed by the use of the animated backdrops in the performance as Mr. Stroud.

“I’ve never seen the use of the multimedia quite this way where they were able to achieve kind of magical effects by interchanging the dancers from real life on stage to depictions on the screen,” she said. “It was really cool.”

As described on Shen Yun’s website, “[T]hese digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance: the characters, color of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects.”

The beauty of Shen Yun cannot just be summarized in a few words, Ms. Perry said, because all the different elements in the performance together make Shen Yun a majestic performance.

“The music integrated with the dance, and the movement was just really breathtaking, and you don’t have to know anything about the Chinese arts and you don’t have to know anything about dance to enjoy the spectacle and the beauty of all of it,” she said.

Mr. Stroud added that he would recommend Shen Yun to others.

“It’s top-notch choreography, beautiful costumes, amazing music, a seamless production, it’s really great,” he said.

With reporting by Youzhi Ma, NTD Television, and Kuan-Yu Hsiao

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.