The dynamism of 5,000 years of history, flexibility required of classical Chinese dance, and connection to faith were all what added up to something he said was amazing.
“It’s very surprising. It’s very authentic—especially how you see the people move on the stage. It’s unbelievable,” Mr. Slavenburg said.
New York-based Shen Yun primarily performs classical Chinese dance, a form that contains difficult tumbling techniques: flips with splits, high jumps and leaps, spinning techniques. These are techniques that have become sports like gymnastics and acrobatics.
Yet classical Chinese dance is also a comprehensive, independent dance system with its own unique movements and postures, a round way of moving that is culturally Chinese, according to Shen Yun’s website.
And most notably, it is a very expressive form because classical Chinese dance also emphasizes “yun.”
Yun is bearing, as the Shen Yun website explains. It is the breath, aura, intent, and inner spirit of the dancer, and what allows the performers to portray such a wide range of emotions and characters.
What Mr. Slavenburg felt from these Shen Yun dancers was to have faith in life.
“I liked this sort of expression that life is good, and that you can have faith,” Mr. Slavenburg said. He gave the example of the female dancers in a Tibetan “khata” dance, with long white sleeves thrown to the heavens, a symbol of veneration for the gods.
“It was really beautiful,” he said.
Mr. Slavenburg, who meditates each morning, could relate to the inner spirit of the dancers.
“This is a good connection to that and it’s very inspiring for me,” he said.
“Will be back next year,” he said.
Reporting by Lily Yu and Catherine Yang
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.