Chinese Dance for Latin Dancers: Shen Yun in Miami

Jan 08, 2022
Chinese Dance for Latin Dancers: Shen Yun in Miami
Latin dancers Emily Bender and Raul Martinez after the Shen Yun performance in Miami, on Jan. 6., 2022. (Teng Dongyu/Epoch Times)

MIAMI, Fla.—If you think of dance on a warm Miami night, palm trees and a Latin beat come to mind, right? For Latin dance world champions Emily Bender and Raul Martinez, their evening on Jan. 6 was spent enjoying classical Chinese dance for a change.

Shen Yun, the New York-based dance and music company, has been touring the world since 2006, offering audiences a taste of China’s 5,000-year civilization before the advent of communism. The colorful costuming, engaging storylines and expressive choreography have touched viewers’ hearts in over 150 cities worldwide.

“I love the simplicity and the perfectionism,” said Ms. Bender. “I’m balletically trained, so I know the details, and sometimes, especially in this day and age, everything is all about the wow factor. So I love the essence—you could just tell it was like from internal.”

Ms. Bender echoed an often-heard sentiment from audiences that Shen Yun performers exude a genuine joy on stage. She was also struck by the coordination among the performers.
“The synchronicity was kind of what stuck out for me,” she said. “Anytime there were multiple dancers on stage doing the same thing, how they were so well together—even in ballet companies nowadays, you don’t get that to the perfection like the way that they were. So it’s, it’s beautiful to see.”

Mr. Martinez agreed.

“It’s the simplicity, the elegance, beauty, and control behind every movement,” said Martinez. “I really, really enjoy that.”

‘Mental Detox’

Dimitri Khawly and Sandy Neptune after the Shen Yun performance in Miami, Jan. 6, 2022.<br/>(Teng Dongyu/Epoch Times)
Dimitri Khawly and Sandy Neptune after the Shen Yun performance in Miami, Jan. 6, 2022.
(Teng Dongyu/Epoch Times)

“I feel healing, I feel like I’m floating. I feel very at peace and this is the best part of the show,” said graphic designer Dimitri Khawly. “From the music, for the performance, everything was flawless.”

“I feel like the healing was inside. The purification, the mental detox from all the chaos in the world. To me it’s like releasing all the chaotic and bringing back the peace within me.”

For Khawly, seeing Shen Yun was also a launching point for further exploration.

“It makes me want to get more spiritual and get to know more about the culture. My grandfather is Chinese—he is from Canton—so after this show, it’s going to get me more involved and try to get to know more about my culture from my grandfather’s side.”

Reporting by Teng Dongyu.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.
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