Alabama residents will soon have a chance to experience traditional Chinese culture like they have never before. The critically acclaimed Shen Yun Performing Arts Company will debut at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) Concert Hall on the evenings of August 21 and 22.
Shen Yun, a New York-based nonprofit organization, graced the stages of 88 cities across five continents so far this year, with multiple sold out showings. The performances have been winning praises from the arts community, notable figures and Chinese audiences since its 2006-2007 inaugural season.
All artistic aspects of the Shen Yun, from the handmade costumes to the digital backdrops, original choreography and music, have awed experts in each field.
“It amazed me … The choreography is phenomenal, I think it’s the best show that I ever saw. The best. Even the backgrounds, the dancing, the choreography and the music, the singing—everything,” said Valentina Alexess, a former ballerina with Moscow Ballet, “I am very, very lucky to see this amazing and fabulous performance, and I couldn’t have imagined it would be like this.”
“This is the most exquisite show that I’ve seen in the last five years, it's a performance that’s so full of eastern artistry and humanity,” said Li Fangru, director of the NanFeng Association for Oil Painting.
Shen Yun is also known for portraying the essence of traditional Chinese culture via music and dance that is unprecedented by any other performance.
“Usually we hear about song and dance multiculturalism, but it’s not very deep and profound. But here tonight it was the most extraordinary cultural show I’ve ever seen and experienced,” said Dr. Cyril Babydeen, an author, professor and critic.
“The sense of divinity, spirituality, and good values—those things for me were very transcendental, very inspirational… It transported me back in time, in a sense of a beautiful, wonderful, quintessential Chinese culture… It was so marvelous,” added Babydeen.
Chinese audiences around the world have praised the Shen Yun as the pride of the Chinese people and a gem that cannot even be found in modern China. They say that they have never seen true Chinese culture so well received by non-Chinese audiences.
“As a Chinese person, I felt proud to see many non-Chinese applaud this show. Shen Yun’s performance shows them that Chinese culture is much more wonderful and profound than what the Chinese Communist Party has to say about it,” remarked renowned China studies scholar Qiu Yueshou.
Concert Hall, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex
2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL, 35203
Showtimes: Fri, August 21, 2009, 7:30pm, Sat, August 22, 2009, 7:00pm