The first of three performances of Shen Yun at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center closed to standing ovations on the evening of May 22. Shen Yun Performing Arts features classical Chinese dance and music, presented through a colorful array of stories and dances.
“I think it’s fabulous,” said Fanny Bonilla, an administrative supervisor. “I think it gives you a good introduction to the Chinese culture, which I’m very interested in. My parents are from the Dominican Republic, so I feel that culture is huge. It represents who you are, so I just like to expand your knowledge.”
The dances pull from China’s 5,000 years of culture. Through a combination of Chinese classical dance and Chinese ethnic and folk dance, the performances include stories both ancient and modern, as well as various pieces which present China’s vast culture.
Bonilla came to see the show with a friend, Marilyn Figueroa, a nutritionist, who said, “I absolutely love the color and the moves. It’s very acrobatic.”
There is a seamless blend in the movements of the dancers in Shen Yun, which can transition from slow and fluid movements, into fast-paced, energetic dances.
The movements of classical Chinese dance are highly expressive and include a wide range of movements. The dances can include anything from subtle hand gestures to mid-air backflips and spins.
“They make it look so easy you want to see if you can go up on stage and hop or jump, or do a somersault. But you can’t,” said Bonilla, laughing.
In addition to classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun also includes colorful costumes inspired by China’s different dynasties and ethnic groups. “I love the costumes. I think they’re absolutely lovely, and the watersleeves, the really look like water flowing on the waves,” said Bonilla.
Also attending the show was Kim Gailus, an accountant for a large New York retailer, who came with her husband and six-year-old daughter. “It’s beautiful,” said Gailus.
Her husband, Eric, who works as a computer engineer added, “It was amazing how they were able to output so much energy for this entire show.”
“Everything was together with the music. I think they synchronized quite well,” he said.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform two more shows in New Jersey Performing Arts Center, on Saturday, May 23, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org