Shen Yun Is ‘A Wonderful Representation of the Culture’

MADISON, Wis.—“Oh Gorgeous! As an art quilter I just look at the costumes and think how wonderful they are,” said Susan Jackan after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Overture Center for the Arts, on April 11.

Susan Jackan is a retired math and science teacher. She now spends a great amount of her spare time quilting. As a now veteran quilt artist, her works have been displayed at the Overture Center. She is also a member of the local group, Mad City Quilters.

This evening’s performance was Shen Yun’s second of two that the company will perform in the “City of Four Lakes” before moving on to Normal, Ill., Columbus, Ohio, and then Indianapolis on the weekend of the 18.

Ms. Jackan stated, “I think it’s just wonderful. I love the explanations of the history and the culture and the fact that maybe a lot of these things aren’t being put on in China right now.”

Shen Yun aspires to revitalize the divinely-inspired traditions and customs of China’s cultural heritage through the performing Arts. With Chinese classical dance at the heart of its program, it combines this with symphonic music and beautiful artistry, delivering a performance unmatched in its caliber on the world’s stage, as its website states.

Reflecting on Shen Yun’s mission, Ms. Jackan commented, “I think that’s wonderful, there’s been so much repression … for quite some time now … I think it’s just a wonderful mission to be doing that.”

According to Shen Yun’s website, “Classical Chinese dance has a history of thousands of years, sharing a common ancestry with martial arts. Its dramatic jumping, spinning, and flipping techniques are just part of the vast repertoire of movements that make classical Chinese dance—one of the most demanding and expressive art forms in the world.”

“It’s just a wonderful representation of the culture, I think,” said Ms. Jackan.

There are 20 or so songs, dances and mini dramas in a Shen Yun Program that retell stories from China’s history, mythology, folklore, and literature. Bilingual English/Mandarin emcees introduce each segment giving the audience some background.

“The stories are just wonderful too,” she said. “And I think the people who are narrating are also doing a wonderful job, explaining all of the stories that are part of the culture.”

Reporting by Cat Rooney and Andrew Darin

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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