SAN JOSE, Calif.—April 10 marked the first time Deb Locsin and Deborah Moody experienced classical Chinese dance at the Shen Yun Performing Arts show in the heart of Silicon Valley.
“I was totally amazed. I didn't know what to expect, and I was just blown away,” said Ms. Locsin, a marketing director. “Even though there weren't any words spoken, we totally understood what was going on, and I just thought the whole story was phenomenal. I loved it,” she enthused.
Attending the show with Ms. Locsin was Ms. Deborah Moody, who has a background in the visual arts. Ms. Moody was very impressed by Shen Yun’s animated backdrops, many of which depict scenes and landscapes of China.
“The performances were outstanding. The dance, the colors they use, the costumes, and again, we could understand. There were no words being spoken, but we could understand everything that was going on. Amazing performance! And we truly enjoyed it. It was wonderful. It was a wonderful performance.”
Ms. Locsin commented that she had done karate for four years and was able to discern similarities in classical Chinese dance. In truth, classical Chinese dance has a history of thousands of years. The masters of ceremonies also explained that it contains techniques such as jumps, flips, and tumbles, and has inspired gymnastics as well as martial arts.
“It was very amazing to me and it was very enjoyable watching them perform it so beautifully. I really, really enjoyed it,” she commented.
A key feature of classical Chinese dance is its capacity to depict a wide range of characters, from fairy-like maidens to current day heroes. The Shen Yun Performing Arts show exhibits many such story-based dances in its repertoire.
“There is so much going on that here in America we don't understand. We don't comprehend because we don't live it. And so I think to be exposed to what is still going on today that happened thousands of years ago, it's mind blowing. So it was enlightening, to say the least,” said Ms. Locsin.
“We don't have a true understanding of Chinese history even though I've been to China,” said Ms. Moody. “I have a little bit of an understanding in the challenges behind what's really being portrayed there. It was wonderful. It's beautiful. It was just a beautiful dance experience.”
She also appreciated the great variety of Chinese ethnic groups depicted in the show. “You see a combination of all the different regions … everybody speaking different languages … and yet you can see it all coming together. It's a beautiful experience. We thoroughly enjoyed it.”
On a hopeful note, on the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners in China depicted in the show, Ms. Moody said, “To see a performance that actually portrays a persecution, but gives you an understanding that you can rise above that, and just because of you're being persecuted, doesn't mean that you need to give up. It means that you need to fight and that you can persevere.”
Falun Dafa is a peaceful meditation practice which was brought to the public in 1992. The Chinese communist regime began persecuting practitioners in 1999, an injustice which continues to this day.
With reporting by Chun Lin and Vicky Jiang.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will next perform in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 13. For more information please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org