Shen Yun’s Dancing ‘It touches the soul kind of thing’

MINNEAPOLIS—Carrie Klemenhagen, former amateur ballet dancer, now works in reinsurance accounting, thought the overall production by Shen Yun Performing Arts on Feb. 15 at the Orpheum Theatre was excellent and all the numbers were very tight.

“I just thoroughly thought the dances were excellent, the jumps were amazing, and the choreography was beautiful,” she said. “It’s just entertaining to me. It makes me feel peaceful as well.”

She particularly enjoyed the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra with its original music and combination of East and West traditional instruments making for a unique and harmonious sounds.

“I like the dance and the orchestra together. The orchestra adds an element to the dance performance that I think is just excellent,” she explains.

Shen Yun is a New York-based company that strives to rejuvenate traditional Chinese culture through the performing arts of music and classical Chinese dance. Its dances are enhanced by digital interactive backdrops and colorful handmade costumes.

“Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” according to the company’s website.

Having a dance background herself, Ms. Klemenhagen has a personal connection to the performers. “I appreciate how difficult these moves are and how much training and time it takes to develop these skills,” she said.

“I believe that they are thoroughly into their art and that they are probably peaceful people,” she said.

It’s touches the soul kind of thing. The dancing in particular because I have a dance background,” said Ms. Klemenhagen.

Ms. Klemenhagen was impressed by the dancers’ seamless incorporation of certain props like chopsticks, sleeves, and hats as that showed they had a high caliber of artistry.

After seeing the performance, Ms. Klemenhagen had gained a new perspective of the beauty that classical Chinese dance has to offer. “I have never been to a show like this—so this is really quite exciting.”

But, it was the compassion of the people presented in the programs that really stood out to her as the uniquely beautiful elements of the production. “Overall, she said, it was just the synchronization of how people can work together, compassion and synchronization … .”

Reporting by Sherry Dong and Andrew Darin

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.

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