ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—John Melchinger got a birthday present this year that he was truly anticipating: a ticket to Shen Yun Performing Arts. Mr. Melchinger, a minister, attended the performance at Mahaffey Theater on Thursday night, Feb. 6, with his wife Jayne.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to see this,” said Mr. Melchinger, who was a Chinese translator for the military 45 years ago. “I used to listen to Chinese and write it simultaneously in English. So I’ve just been excited about seeing this,” he said.
New York-based Shen Yun brings 5,000 years of Chinese civilization to the world, primarily through classical Chinese dance. The dance depicts stories from ancient legends all the way to current times.
Mrs. Melchinger thought the performance “very articulate, very athletic—it’s very graceful.”
“Within classical Chinese dance lie China’s rich cultural traditions, which allow its movements to be deeply expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity,” the program book says. “It is therefore capable of depicting scenes from any time period, whether ancient or modern, Eastern or Western, in a strikingly vivid way.”
Mr. Melchinger was happy that he could still understand the Chinese spoken by the bilingual emcees introducing each short dance program.
He also enjoyed the “historical perspective of real Chinese tradition and history,” which he could validate as accurate from his past studies. “I was just fascinated with all things Chinese,” he explained.
As for the deeper elements of the performance, “They represent different spiritual aspects like Confucius, Lao Zi, they’re all blended all very nicely together.”
Yet he thought Shen Yun’s perspective on Chinese culture was new.
As for the quality of what he saw, “The dancing is wonderful, so well coordinated and so smooth,” he said.
Although Mrs. Melchinger did not share her husband’s expertise, she enjoyed the performance nonetheless.
Reporting by Marie Yeung and Sharon Kilarski
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.