Shen Yun Performing Arts 2015

   

Review by Mavis Manus

Having recently returned to L.A. for the ninth time, SHEN YUN PERFORMING ARTS put on its usual spectacular show with sixty dancers in resplendent Chinese costumes cavorting before a 30-foot-high video backdrop on the stage of the Dolby Theatre. The production, which melds traditional Chinese culture with Western razzle-dazzle, also played at four other southern California venues before packing up and resuming its national tour.

The company, which was formed in NYC in 2006, travels six months of the year, both in the USA and abroad. To date, millions have attended a Shen Yun show, with lots more to come in the future. Clearly, the company has become one of the most popular folk dance troupes working internationally today.

Led by choreographer and dancer Michelle Ren, SHEN YUN 2015 kicked off with a spiritual dance piece from the Zhou Dynasty (choreographed by Yungchia Chen) called Following the Creator to Renew All Things (music by Jing Xian). Then came a classical Chinese song (Yuan Ling, soprano), followed by various dances with their roots in Buddhism, Falun Gong (banned by China’s communist regime, by the way), and the Hainan Islands. A young couple, Kelly Wen and Leeshai Lemish, introduced each number, alternating
between English and Chinese. The 90-strong Shen Yun orchestra backed up each dance in symphonic fashion. Its instrumentation reflected the East/West orientation of the company: strings, woodwinds and brass were joined by the esoteric sound of the two-stringed Erhu, the plucked Pipa, and the war-like thunder of Chinese drums.

(For tickets and information call 800-880-0188 or visit shenyun.com)