WASHINGTON, D.C.—Ballerinas are the very image of poise and sophistication but classical Chinese dancers are no less elegant. In fact, classical Chinese dance has a history even longer than that of ballet. Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world’s top classical Chinese dance company, just finished this season’s penultimate performance at The Kennedy Center Opera House.
Jie-Siou Wu and Abigail Brent are dancers with the Washington Ballet. After seeing New York-based Shen Yun, they were blown away by the dancers’ technique and precision.
“Stunning. Their technique is so good. They’re so precise. They’re also together. It’s just really amazing,” said Ms. Brent.
Having seen Shen Yun before, Mr. Wu shared his views on Shen Yun as a dancer.
“I know that classical Chinese dance, the tumbling techniques, Tibetan dance, and Mongolian dance are very difficult. As a ballet dancers, I know this is very difficult. A normal audience member might just think that they simply lifted a leg or the did a spin, but that spin is very difficult. It has to be smooth, without bumps,” he said.
“They have to be really precise, so people who aren’t dancers might not realize how challenging it is, but the technique behind it is really impressive. They have to be so precise in their movements,” added Ms. Brent.
Classical Chinese dance has three components: bearing, form, and technique. When all three components can be combined with ease, the result is spectacular.
“Today, I got goosebumps. My love for classical Chinese dance returned. Classical Chinese dance is very beautiful, not just ballet.” Mr. Wu shared.
The dancers of Shen Yun not only work hard on their dance technique, they also strive to have humility and a strong sense of morality, as they explain on their website. This kind of self-discipline flows forth in their dance as well.
“I already knew what they can do. All the flips, all the jumps. But for this performance I personally think they are more focused on [being] humble. I know even the last dance, it’s very hard. But it looks easy,” said Mr. Wu.
Shen Yun uses dance and music to tell stories that originate from Chinese history or Chinese mythology.
“For someone who doesn’t already know the story, they convey the message so beautifully because the combination of dance and acting is very effective. They get their message across,” commented Ms. Brent.
To portray the stories that occurred in different settings effectively, Shen Yun uses a digital backdrop that extends the stage endlessly.
Mr. Wu expressed that this was his first time seeing a backdrop used like this and he could understand the challenges that come with using such technology.
“The screen [and dancers] connect right away and it needs to be on time. The timing should be perfect. [They can] not even lose one count,” he said.
Reporting by Jenny Jing and Maria Han.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.