GAINESVILLE, Fla.— Shen Yun made its debut performance in Gainesville on Tuesday. Fortunately for Heather Bennett, her husband was listening when she said she wanted tickets to the show for Christmas.
“It was beautiful. It was wonderful,” said Mrs. Bennett, of Shen Yun Performing Arts.
For her, it was a new and vivid experience. “Very colorful, and lots of dancing that was just something we have never seen before,” said Mrs. Bennett.
The Bennetts saw Shen Yun on Dec. 30, 2014 at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. They are bankers at Community First Credit Union.
Shen Yun performs ethnic and classical Chinese dance. According to Shen Yun’s website, Chinese dance “was once passed down among the people, in imperial courts, and through ancient plays. Over thousands of years, it was constantly refined, eventually developing into the vast and distinctly Chinese dance form we know today.”
“It was very joyful, very joyful,” said Mrs. Bennett. “There were a couple of parts where it made you really think about the culture that you know we don’t get to see over here in this country. It’s beautiful.” Shen Yun aims to revive Chinese civilization. The company is based in New York. Through dance, Shen Yun tells stories of courage and virtue from history and from modern day China. Most of the artists are ethnically Chinese.
“I agree,” said Mr. Bennett “The beautiful things in China, and the history behind the dance, and just how oppressive [China’s government] has become.” He found it remarkable that the company is affiliated with a performing arts school in New York, and that the artists and musicians perform in the “United States to show the beauty of that culture and dance.”
Mrs. Bennett felt that she had broadened her knowledge. “We learned a lot today. Yes, it was wonderful,” said Mrs. Bennett.
Mr. Bennett said, for him, all of the program touched his heart.
“I thought it was fabulous. And if they come back next year, we are going to bring our young daughters,” said Mr. Bennett.
Reporting by NTD and Nicholas Zifcak