BALTIMORE, Md.—Rounds of applause went off in The Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore when dancers of Shen Yun Performing Arts displayed challenging techniques on stage.
“Spectacular. Unbelievable athleticism and [the] choreography is amazing. And the production, the music is splendid, it’s absolutely incredible,” said Patrick Sheaffer, owner of Sheaffer and Associates Realty.
“It’s like looking at a bouquet of flowers. And there’s stuff going in all directions,” said Ian Preston, senior software engineer at MedRisk. “There’s all these colors and interwoven activity between the performers, it’s very mesmerizing in a word.”
On top of classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun also blends mini-dance dramas, drawing inspiration from China’s 5,000 years of history.
“What else I really loved about it was the storytelling. And so you had some of the myths in there, and you had some historical components to it,” said Laura Kurek, director of sales operations at VMware Tanzu.
“And you had this deep thread of spirituality that ran through it, of this compassion and the unitedness and the connectedness of all peoples. And I thought that was really beautiful, because it’s a message especially nowadays that can get lost so many times,” she added.
Preston said the performance is a display of a culture that has gone through many different things: “you see that and all of the different performances, the diversity of the performances reflects that depth of history. So really interesting contrast between the modern and the historical.”
As a lover of classical music, a short segment of the Chinese instrument Pipa in a dance story caught his attention.
“There was a solo, and the pipa during one of the scenes where the maiden had to give up her life for the drunken emperor stood out to me, but erhu is my second favorite Chinese instrument.”
Ms. Kurek said there was a gentleness to the dance movements: “Even though there was a tremendous amount of power in the movements, you can tell that they had such mastery and control over their bodies and their form, and how they were moving, that they were able to move softly and land gently and just have very soft movements, while at the same time, you could see their strength and their power and their control. It was just a beautiful dichotomy of strength and gentleness.”
LaQuisha Hall, Mrs. Maryland International 2023, noted the dancers’ hearts came through in the performance: “I also just felt like maybe because of their personal experiences, that it showed up through their dance and performance as well. I was personally inspired by how they stood for their faith, even through persecution, and still came out victorious in the end.”
The end of Shen Yun’s 2023 season is fast approaching. Only four places now have shows lined up. Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York.
NTD News, Baltimore, Maryland