Senior VP on Shen Yun: Will Spread ‘Better Understanding’ of Chinese Culture
COLUMBUS, Ohio— Grandmother Rhonda Kohler believes that children will really be intrigued by Shen Yun Performing Arts, “owing to their video games and things like that. I thought the way the projections were on the screen and how the dancers and performers interacted with what was on the screen was really interesting, and I think [children] could relate to that,” she explained.
Shen Yun, a classical Chinese dance and music company located in New York, tells stories of ancient times through dance. Yet they bring these stories to life with the help of digitally animated images projected on backdrops, which, as Mrs. Kohler explained, seem to interact with the live performers.
Mrs. Kohler attended the second of two performances of Shen Yun in Columbus’s Ohio Theatre. She and her husband, Dan, came April 16.
Dan is Senior Vice President of Business Development for Pioneer Group/Pioneer Pipe, Inc. Before that he worked for years with American Electric Power.
“It’s the first time I have seen something like this, very entertaining,” Mr. Kohler said. “I’m amazed at how the ladies just glide on the stage. The colors, the costumes are beautiful; the music is unusual, something that we don’t see every day or hear every day,” he said.
Shen Yun aims to revive China’s divinely inspired culture through the performing arts. It features classical Chinese dance accompanied by an orchestra that combines classical Western and Chinese instruments.
Each of the dances, brings a new legend or folk tradition to the stage, with appropriate, colorful costumes and backdrops as a complement.
“The costuming is beautiful and we were told before the performance that all the costumes are handmade—that’s amazing,” Mrs. Kohler said of the dozens of costumes she saw over the evening’s first half.
Speaking of the dancers Mrs. Kohler said, “I was kind of amazed thinking about the training they must go through.” Mrs. Kohler is a retired respiratory therapist.
“They are so in sync with everyone and they work so closely together. I can’t imagine the dedication it takes to do that. It is truly amazing,” she said.
Mr. Kohler was trying to take in the idea that a culture could go back 5,000 years and thought the performance would help spread “acceptance and better understanding of the Chinese Culture.”
He would tell friends about it and say, “it is an experience they need to take in. …We are just so removed from this type of culture. You don’t see this on television or in other venues, so this is something that’s unique, and I think it is worthwhile to see.”
Mrs. Kohler couldn’t help think of her 6-year-old granddaughter. “She is so animated, and I thought she would really enjoy this. I think children would enjoy it,” she said.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Sharon Kilarski
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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