INDIANAPOLIS—Artist Susan Fordyce lives on 20 acres of wild woods, so she understands quietness. She felt a profound stillness in the performance she saw at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University on Friday, Jan. 16, a performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company.
“The dances are powerful, sort of explosive, but a very quiet tone and that quietness is even in the power, in the explosiveness,” she said of the male dancers. Of the females, “for the most part [they are] not doing the power, but the power is still there in the quiet in their dance,” she said.
Shen Yun, based in New York, specializes in performing classical Chinese dance, a complete system of dance, that, according to the company’s website, “has a long history of thousands of years, … soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty.”
One aspect of classical Chinese dance is called bearing. In essence, bearing means that “the spirit leads form, so that form is imbued with spirit.”
Ms. Fordyce, not only sensed a quiet energy or spirit pervading all of the dances, but felt something powerful in all of the many dances in the program. She felt a sense of “the Buddha. It seems to be there. I think it was definitely the intention of some pieces, but I think it is there for all of that. I feel it in all of it.”
“A very good feeling,” she said. “I think it’s inviting. It’s very inviting kind of performance, welcoming. It draws the people into the stories.”
Classical Chinese dance, one of the most expressive dance forms in the world, allowing stories to be told purely through dance. Thus, Shen Yun depicts stories and legends from China’s 5,000 year civilization.
One story Ms. Fordyce enjoyed was Imperial Archers, performed by the men in the company. Program notes explain that “The young warriors in this dance, taut with energy, hone their skills on a training field in preparation for battle.”
Of course, as an artist Ms. Fordyce was taken with the visual aspects of the performance. “Whoever designed these costumes have a true sensitivity for design. It’s wonderful,” she said.
“And the choreography, woo, oh my!” she said.
“And the chop stick dance, fantastic, I loved that, it was just precious,” she said of Chopsticks Dance of the Mongolian Ladies, who “click handfuls of chopsticks in an energetic dance of welcome,” according to the website.
“Fabulous!” Ms. Fordyce said of the performance as a whole.
Reporting by Sally Sun and Sharon Kilarski
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.