Shen Yun ‘Makes me feel like Spring coming in February’

February 10, 2012 Updated: August 14, 2015

SEATTLE—Former dance instructor, Mark Gilbert, loved the flowing nature of the dances performed by Shen Yun Performing Arts, staged at the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall on Feb. 8.

“The ethereal movements covered by the items [props] that the dancers are using—the sleeves in one case, or the fans in the lotus shape, and the way they made them move,” said Mr. Gilbert who also plays guitar and piano.

“I really appreciated how they built structures so that when the dancer finished the movement there would be further movement by the garments that would convey more movements, more flow … that was also one of the things I enjoyed in the snowflake dance [Snowflakes Welcoming Spring].”

A collection of story-based dance and songs, backed by hi-tech digital backdrop scenery and a full orchestral ensemble, is part of the New York-based company’s unique features.

“I very much enjoyed the show … I loved the silk sleeves, Sleeves of Silk. I thought was absolutely beautiful.”

And his assessment of the projected backdrop scenes he found intriguing, enjoying the process of seeing the backdrop scenes interacting with the dance, “where someone would be flying in from the backdrop and then appear back up here on stage,” Mr. Gilbert said. “I thought they did that beautifully … That was good fun.”

Mr. Gilbert also enjoyed the unique sounds of the Shen Yun Orchestra, a combination of ancient Eastern and classical Western instruments in all-original composition.

“I enjoyed the character, the flair, the presence, it was beautifully done and marvelously fitting the dance … very much enjoyed it.”

Also enjoying the performance with Mr. Gilbert, was Karen Bruner, who rated the performance highly, from the handmade colorful costumes to the award-winning performers.

“It was lovely, it was wonderful, from the costumes to the dancers to everything, it was just beautifully done,” she said. “To me, [the music] was very authentic … a pleasure to hear that because you don’t hear it so often, and feeling just the whole level of history and different traditions coming into it.”

In concluding, she said the show was “inspiring, uplifting and a reminder that there are good things in the world … beauty and music, strength and vision, people’s dedication to the dancing and the stories that they tell. This keeps all the culture alive.”

The dance, Snowflakes Welcoming Spring, reminded her that we live in a “beautiful world. Makes me feel like Spring coming in February,” Ms. Bruner said.

Reporting by Chen Si and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Following performances in Japan, Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will continue on to top venues in Korea and Taiwan, followed by Australia and New Zealand.

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