Shen Yun’s production has attracted artists around the world, including this world-class ballet dancer, Sarwat Kaluby, who saw the performance in Jacksonville, Florida, on Feb. 22.
“I loved [Shen Yun], I loved it,” Kaluby said after the performance. “Great dancers, great technique, wonderful artists. The choreography is fantastic and the music is wonderful.”
As a young man, Kaluby became a professional ballet dancer and choreographer under the guidance of Russia’s illustrious Bolshoi Ballet and Kirov Theatre.
“It’s really fabulous, I enjoyed it very much. The ladies are so graceful, and the costumes are just making the movements even—it echoes more, just grander than what the movement is. So the combination of the costumes that they wear for the dynasties and the movement—very, very interesting. It’s quite lovely actually,” said Kaluby, who trained with Mikhail Baryshnikov and has danced at the Paris Opera House, with Britain’s Royal Ballet, the New York City Ballet, and the American Ballroom Theater.
Now, besides having his own dance studio, he is also a ballroom dance choreographer, a championship event organizer, and a competition adjudicator.
As a dance judge himself, he was deeply impressed by the level of the dancers.
“They’re really fabulous dancers, that I have to say. Their technique is enormous and their artistic [level] is fabulous. And even the use of their arms and their feet and, and the extensions and their leaps are just amazing. And whether it’s the ladies or men, they’re all as equally as impressive, very impressive,” he added.
From legends to ethnic dances to stories of modern-day China, Shen Yun uses story-based dance to bring back the core values from traditional Chinese culture.
Kaluby found a meaningful message in these storytelling dances. “Very interesting, very interesting. It’s quite what you see today and what people strive to do. You see the good ones and the bad ones and kind of the struggle between both of them and I think ultimately the good wins. Good people win always,” he said.
As a performer himself, Kaluby really appreciates the mission of the company.
“It’s very important that really their work, everybody sees it and everybody hears it. It’s sad that this particular style and culture disappear, so keeping it alive, it’s very, very important for all the new generation that have never seen such a thing,” he said.
Growing up with hours and hours of practice everyday, Kaluby said he could see that the artists are doing more than that.
According to the website, Shen Yun artists following ancient tradition. Besides their daily practice, these artists also follow a spiritual practice called Falun Dafa and seek to create art with an inner difference.
“I can tell you their practice definitely shows. There is no doubt,” Kaluby asserted. “I believe these guys are doing more than that. And really it shows. It’s just fabulous.”
Shen Yun translates into English as: the beauty of divine beings dancing. Kaluby certainly felt it is an apt description of Shen Yun’s dancers. “Yes, yes there is no doubt about that, there are no doubts about that,” Kaluby said.
“Well, everything that they do is really—The movement itself it so it comes from, from the heart, from inside, and it’s all expressed outward. It’s not a small movement. It’s really great and I enjoyed it.”
He added that he could feel positive energy coming from the artists.
“It puts you at ease. It puts you in a whole different level of feeling. It’s not your daily activities. It’s very calming. It has quite a lot of serenity around it. That’s the only word I can think of.”
After seeing the performance, he hopes to see Shen Yun again and expressed his gratitude to them.
“It’s so impressive. I’d love to meet each and every one of you. But it’s very impressive. Thank you so much for the performance and thanks for coming to Jacksonville.”