COLUMBUS, Ohio—Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company left the audience in amazement after it played at the Ohio Theatre on Thursday night.
David Powers, engineer with the Ohio Department of Transportation, attended the performance with his wife, Valerie. Both lauded its use of color and its depiction of Chinese stories through dance.
Shen Yun is “very good,” he said, adding that he “enjoyed every aspect of it; [the] costuming, the colors.”
New York-based Shen Yun seeks to revive traditional Chinese culture through performing arts, its website says. The company uses a variety of means to do this, including classical Chinese and ethnic dances, costuming, and colorful, interactive backdrops.
The dancers, Mrs. Powers said, have “amazing athletic ability,” capable of performing “amazing feat[s]” but are also “extremely graceful.”
Classical Chinese dance is among the most comprehensive styles in the world, the company says. The system has been passed down for thousands of years and is said to embody the aesthetics of Chinese culture.
“I really enjoyed the stories … and how they incorporated that into dance. It was really excellent,” she added.
The performance draws heavily upon the legends and stories passed down throughout Chinese civilization, the company website states. By so doing, Shen Yun tries also to revive the spirituality that has been lost in China under years of communist repression.
Mr. Powers noted that Shen Yun gives an “understanding [of] what’s behind some of the things culturally that we see, [and] the influences” religion and spirituality has had on China throughout history.
Mrs. Powers said the performance reflects a desire “to be back in touch with that part of their culture because they’re kind of pushed out away from [it] and so they’re eager to be reunited with their creator.”
With reporting by Valerie Avore and Jack Phillips.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun will have one more performance in Columbus, Ohio on April 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org