NEWARK, N.J.—Maury Viola, a former professional ballet dancer, and her husband Anthony Viola, a company director, watched Shen Yun Performing Arts at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on May 7. Mrs. Viola said that as a former dancer, she could appreciate the performers and the presentation of the entire production.
“It’s beautiful,” said Mrs. Viola, who shared that her husband had gotten her tickets to Shen Yun for her birthday. “They’re so well trained, and the presentation was exciting and different.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun was founded in 2006 and is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Now with eight equally sized companies touring the world simultaneously, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture and to give its audiences a glimpse of pre-communist China.
“It’s immaculate, it’s perfect,” said Mrs. Viola. “The unison is so impressive, especially the women’s classical dance—everybody’s all impressed with the legs up to their ears, but the small movements, too, were just right on the money.”
“I was telling my husband when the men jump, it’s not just how high they go, it’s the way that they come down, and they flow right into the next thing, they’re amazing—just amazing!”
Mr. Viola said that he enjoyed Shen Yun’s music, performed by a live orchestra that combines traditional Chinese and Western instruments.
“I love those Chinese traditional instruments; [they] were all fantastic,” he said.
Mrs. Viola said that her favorite instrument in Shen Yun’s orchestra was the erhu, a traditional Chinese two-stringed instrument that gave a solo performance.
Mr. Viola was also impressed by the dancing, which he described as top-notch, and said that he enjoyed the story-based dances in Shen Yun‘s program as well.
“I like [the] traditional stories as well, and the emphasis on [the] traditional is really excellent,” said Mr. Viola. He added that the message he got from Shen Yun’s performance was that “modern life can really separate us from God and tradition.”
“It’s amazing that they…do a new show every year,” said Mr. Viola. “That’s a lot of work! To do a new show every year is amazing.”
Reporting by Weiyong Zhu and Wandi Zhu
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.