Dance Program Director ‘Taken Aback by Proficiency’ of Shen Yun Dancers, Orchestra

WICHITA, Kan.—Shen Yun Performing Arts was “spectacular,” said Sabrina Vasquez, the director of the Wichita State University dance program.

Ms. Vasquez had just watched the world’s leading classical Chinese dance and music performance at the Century 11 Performing Arts & Convention Center.

Ms. Vasquez has been dancing since she was seven years old and is trained in ballet, modern contemporary, and jazz dance.

“It’s a spectacular, spectacular display of beauty, of history, of excellence of all of the dancers and the orchestra,” Ms. Vasquez said.

“I was really, really very taken aback by the proficiency of the dancers, their beautiful upper bodies, their smiles, their beautiful faces, and athleticism as well,” she said.

“I know it’s very difficult to have that kind of precision when you’re dancing in such large groups and then on very different stages throughout the world.”

Shen Yun is reviving five millennia of traditional Chinese culture to how it was before communism.

Ms. Vasquez said she was inspired by the professionalism of the performers, by their unison and synchronicity.

“I was also, very impressed with the costumes and the detail work and how they flowed and how they moved with the dancers,” Ms. Vasquez said.

“The costume designs … are so detailed and intricate. And to be able to have that many [dancers] on stage with that kind of precision is truly effective.”

She also commented on Shen Yun’s use of 3D digital technology which enables a smooth and dynamic transition between the actors on stage and the projection.

“[The projection’s] use of color, the use of scenery [so that the] audience get an understanding of the lands that … some might have never been to,” she said.

It made it possible that “we can see the mountains, we can see the palaces, we can see the blossoms and the colors and how that all interacts,” she added.

Shen Yun’s orchestra is a unique combination of traditional Chinese and classical Western instruments that create a remarkable harmonious melody.

“It’s everything to have a live orchestra. And the collaboration between the choreography and the dancers, and the orchestra is so well-timed. And they are in unison, they’re in synchronicity together, so they’re really fine musicians and fine conducting too,” said Ms. Vasquez.

The movement of the body in dance is crucial, said Ms. Vasquez. “It’s a foundation and the fact that the dancers are so well trained means that they can communicate the movement in a very clear and effective way with beauty and with grace, and also that athleticism. So it’s very clear that they’re very well-trained dancers,” she said.

Shen Yun’s story-based dances and songs depict the history and spirituality of Chinese civilization both past and present. Ms. Vasquez sai she enjoyed the stories.

“I think that that’s what the arts are. It’s our language. It’s our instrument for how we can be, how we can reflect a better world. And sometimes the reflection is not always beautiful. [It] is a way for us to be in touch with those, sometimes issues that are difficult to explain.”

Shen Yun was a light shining on China’s history and spirituality, she said.

“People have different faiths, but there’s kind of a unifying compassion and love story, that is lovely to see.”

Shen Yun’s portrayal of China’s history through dance and music is spectacular, is how Ms. Vasquez would describe the performance to her friends.

Also impressed by Shen Yun was Sharon Hamric, a former ballet dancer, who said she longed to be on the stage with the dancers.

“They’re light, they’re just floating on air. And they’re so precise and [with] symmetry. They look joyful. It’s so uplifting. And I love that they’re free to [perform in the United States],” she said.

While Shen Yun’s seven companies perform globally, they have been banned from performing in China.

Ms. Hamric spoke of the artistry of Shen Yun noting that the costumes were so beautiful she longed to try them on.

“I just sense an eagerness to perform, for the artist’s desire to self-express. They’re just so in time … with something more behind it besides just dance,” she said.

“It’s something inner and strong and spiritual. It’s sad that it can’t be tolerated in China because it’s a threat to communism,” she said.

She felt a connection with the messages portrayed by Shen Yun.

“I felt a Christian message. I felt love, that you can say what you believe and follow your heart and worship and not have to be a part of communism. And you can have individual thoughts [and] that the real gifts are how you treat one another and spread love and taking care of one another,” said Ms. Hamric.

The performance exuded energy said Ms. Hamric. “It’s not a job, just the energy of joy, and passion and being hungry to perform and connect with the audience,” she explained.

After watching the performance, Ms. Hamric was inspired “to join in and root for freedom against communism.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Diane Cordemans.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.


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