The New York-based company strives to bring the very best of classical Chinese dance, award-winning Chinese vocalists, a 40 plus-piece orchestra and colorful backdrops and costumes. These elements combine to bring 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture to the stage.
“It was fabulous! Stunning costumes, beautiful dancing—it really conveyed the culture,” said Kathleen Marino, who teaches at DePaul University.
Ms. Marino said she was impressed by everything! “The dancing was exquisite, the costumes stunning. We really got a sense of Chinese cultural history,” she said.
In describing her impression of the show she noted “the history of the struggles,” in China and particularly “their struggles to express freedom and how that spirit has persisted over time.”
Karen Marino, Ms Marino’s sister and a physician said, “It was just stunning and magical and there was so much power and expression in the dancers, but yet they’re so refined and delicate.”
Mike Morelli, who owns Brooks Shoe Service, also attended Friday night. He said, “it was wonderful and just amazing. It was very colorful. It kept me engaged the whole time.”
Mr. Morelli was struck most by the dancing and colors especially the dance Snowflakes Welcoming Spring. “It really impressed him. I thought that was the prettiest thing I ever seen in my life on stage, it was just—the movement and the colors, it was just fascinating.”
Also attending was Kym Abrams, a graphic designer, who was amazed by the influence that Chinese dance has had on modern dance forms. “I saw how dance has really evolved from Chinese tradition, which was very interesting. So I learned something new.”
Commenting on the graphic elements, particularly the digitally animated backdrop, she said: “I was also really impressed with the graphic quality of the performance; the design aspect, it’s very beautiful.”
Animated figures in the backdrop seem to fly down, then land and next appear as live dancers onstage.
“The colors, the use of the screen was incredible. That was amazing—never seen that before, how they just appeared from the screen like that.”
“It’s very surprising and wonderful,” she said.
Reporting by Stacey Tang and Sharon Kilarski
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will perform in Chicago through April 22.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org