ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Today Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company, one of Shen Yun’s three touring companies, brought more light to The Sunshine City, or St. Pete as the locals call it.
After three sold-out performances at the Straz Theater in Tampa in early March, the New York-based performing arts company has returned to Florida for two performances at the Mahaffey Theater.
Renowned for its classical Chinese dance, folk and ethnic dance, its orchestral blend of Western and Eastern instrumentation, unique animated backdrops, and gorgeous costumes, Shen Yun gives audiences across the globe a taste of five millennia of traditional Chinese culture.
Shen Yun is on a mission to revive the divinely inspired Chinese culture, which has been all but destroyed after more than 60 years of communist rule in China. The ancient culture has a deep spiritual core, “with its values of benevolence, honor, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity, as well as a reverence for the gods and the heavens,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Scott Linden brought his 13-year-old daughter, adopted from China, to the performance. He said it was “enlightening for her, too, to see what a rich place China is.”
“She came out [at intermission] and said, ‘Wow, this has really been great!’ She’s looking forward to the second half,” Mr. Linden said.
“I think it’s an inspiration for her. I think it also allows her to understand a little bit better about where she’s from and her heritage, so we’re enjoying the show. It’s been great.
“We enjoyed seeing each different scene and how the costumes change, how they use the veils in the dance, and … what that means within the culture.
“Also, what I was intrigued by was that the show was developed here in the United States, … and we think it is more representative of the real China, like the China before some of the suppression of freedoms.
“It’s really been interesting to see all the different scenes that portray different areas of China and the different culture,” Mr. Linden said.
Florida Officials Welcome Shen Yun
This is Shen Yun’s fifth consecutive year to perform Florida, with earlier engagements in Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa. In previous years, Shen Yun has also performed in Orlando, Jacksonville, and Sarasota.
In honor of Shen Yun’s fifth season in Florida, federal, state, and local officials sent letters of welcome, including Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, state Sens. Arthenia Joyner and Jim Norman, state Reps. James W. Grant, Betty Reed, Janet Cruz, and Peter Nehr, and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster welcomed Shen Yun Performing Arts to Florida, writing, “We are privileged to have you here.”
Shen Yun’s last performance in Florida for the 2012 season will be at 8 p.m. today at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
Reporting by NTD Television and Louise Rothman
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.