Mr. Smith, a computer programmer, and Mrs. Smith, a psychiatrist, were among the enthusiastic audience at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland on Saturday, September 19th, to see New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts as it debuted in Maine. "It's fantastic!" Mr. and Mrs. Smith exclaimed in unison, and Mr. Smith added, "It's beautiful."
The couple said that it was their general interest in Chinese culture and Mrs. Smith's love of dance that brought them to the show.
"It's very complex. It seems very sophisticated," she said of the dancing. She was amazed by the symmetry of the performances and the original handmade costumes.
Mr. Smith was also impressed with the choreography, saying, "The dancers seem very happy and very energetic. It's awesome!"
As a computer programmer, he took special note of the innovative and unique backdrops: "The digital backgrounds are really excellent."
Mr. Smith said he appreciated the traditional values depicted by the ancient Chinese myths and legends, saying, "Yes, it was a very nice message. Very good!"
"It Was Fabulous!"
Among the appreciative audience were Ms. Atkins, a business executive, and Mr. Drew, a retired businessman. Ms. Atkins expressed her admiration for the world-class artistry of China's 5,000-year-old history presented by Shen Yun in Chinese classical dance and music. "I thought the movements were beautiful and graceful," she said. "The coordination of the dancers was beautiful, and their ability to use the fan really made you imagine they truly were flowers."
Ms. Atkins watched closely the hand and foot work of the highly skilled dancers and noted that other cultures, both Eastern and Western, had been influenced by Chinese classical dance.
Mr. Drew was amazed by the drummers, "Of course, as a man, I liked the last ... I liked the drummers ("Drummers of the Tang Court"). I thought it was fabulous. It was percussion. It was extremely well coordinated and it had a lot of energy, so I liked it very much.
Both of them were amazed by the singers. Mr. Drew said he enjoyed the voice of the contralto who was "hitting 'A's' (high notes) all the way - my ears were ringing. It was fabulous."
Ms. Atkins agreed that the contralto was, "the best singer I have ever heard" in all the performances they had ever seen, anywhere. "She was remarkable," was her comment.
Both were impressed by the groundbreaking blend of Western and Chinese musical compositions performed by Shen Yun's award winning musicians and composers. "The music is very nice, the orchestra is excellent, excellent," said Mr. Drew. "It was very, very good."
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