MANCHESTER, England—As Shen Yun Performing Arts makes its way through the United Kingdom in the 2020 season, Dan Babington was watching it for the first time in Manchester.
“[It’s] one of the best shows I think I’ve seen,” the IT consultant said during the performance at the Palace Theatre on Jan 14, 2020.
Babington wasn’t sure what to expect, but once the performers took to the stage he was blown away by the talent.
“Really top of the game, and I think it’s taken me a little by surprise how good everyone’s been,” Babington said.
As the world’s foremost classical Chinese dance and music company, the New York-based performing arts company, Shen Yun, seeks to revive traditional Chinese culture through dance and music. Classical Chinese dance is, as stated by the Shen Yun Official website, one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
In addition to learning a combination of leaps, turns, flips, spins, as well as other aerial and tumbling techniques, classical Chinese dance has its own dancing system as well as training methods.
Babington said that it’s hard to fathom the level of effort that goes into Shen Yun’s performances because on stage, the dancers make every move look effortless.
“The performers make it look so easy, that it’s difficult to really understand or comprehend the level of effort … it’s really phenomenal,” Babington said.
“The discipline, and obviously the amount of effort that’s gone into the performance, being able to do what they can—it’s amazing,” he said.
Babington was most impressed with the dances performed by the men, saying, “I think that some of the performances by the men, particularly in the athleticism that the men are displaying and some of the athleticism they’re showing is amazing.”
In addition, Babington was amazed by the dancing and the integration between the stage and the backdrop. Performers on stage seamlessly interact with the digitally animated backdrop and allow the audience to travel through time, place, and worlds along with the performers throughout each story.
“I’ve particularly enjoyed the ‘Magic Flute,’ bringing the things off the screen, and the interplay with the live performers and the digital [backdrop], it was amazing,” Babington said.
‘I never thought I would ever see anything like this.’
Another audience member at the Palace Theater who enjoyed the performance, Ann McClean, is a retired beauty therapist and hairdresser. She got tickets to see Shen Yun as a present from her son for Christmas, and for her, it had been an amazing evening so far.
“The music, the costumes, the delicacy, the fun—it’s got lots of fun in it as well. Makes you want to be 5 again and start training, and to be like those stunning girls and those magnificent boys, so athletic and the hand movements and the beautiful toes, and posture,” McClean said.
She was especially taken by the way all the dancers performed together as a team, saying that there was team spirit in the performance.
McClean also enjoyed the digital backdrop and the colors within it—calling the interaction between stage performance and the digital background clever.
“The background, it just makes you feel like you’re floating—it looks so real. You wait for the next thing to happen, it’s quite magical. So that’s beautiful,” McClean said.
“I think the color—the color does a lot for people. Color is very energizing in itself. Color makes you uplifted,” she said.
The retired beauty therapist had a resounding recommendation for people to step out of the box and see something different, “see something extraordinary like [Shen Yun].”
“I don’t think people understand what [Shen Yun] can do for them,” McClean said.
With reporting by NTD Television and Paula Liu.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.
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