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Shen Yun Shares Traditional Chinese Culture With Amarillo

AMARILLO, Texas—Although people have different backgrounds, each culture is beautiful in its own way. Shen Yun Performing Arts is sharing the beauty of China with audiences around the world.

“We’re here to learn about the culture, and enjoy the presentation and the dance. And it’s very different, but different in a beautiful and welcoming way,” said Ben Mereness, a minister.

Shen Yun is based in New York and it is dedicated to presenting a communism-free China to its audience.

Mr. Mereness expressed his appreciation for Shen Yun’s presentation of China’s diversity.

“They’re going into other parts of China. The different traditional dances are very interesting because each culture has its own presentation in a story that it tells,” he said.

China covers a large area of land and within its borders, there are numerous ethnic groups like the Tibetans and the Mongolians.

Mr. Mereness’s wife, Jackie, made a connection to how this diversity can also be found in Amarillo.

“Very much like Amarillo, because we have very many cultures that have come here and are influencing this community. It’s very interesting,” she said.

Mrs. Mereness added that she liked seeing a difference in style between the female and male dancers.

“The whole experience, it’s the women and the men and the different styles—the strength of the men and the elegance of the women, is so very refreshing,” she commented.

Shen Yun’s dancers are trained in classical Chinese dance. This dance form requires the ladies to use very quick and light steps that give the impression that they are floating across the stage.

“The costuming is beautiful and the feminine part of it is so sweet,” said Mrs. Mereness.

The male dancers are bolder with their movements, often depicting characters like brave generals and mischievous monks.

“We love learning a bit of the history and the culture. I think that’s very enjoyable for us as well,” said Mr. Mereness.

Shen Yun’s use of a digital backdrop to extend the stage—patented by the company—allows the dancers to fly into the sky or dive deep into the ocean without the use of heavy stage scenery.

“I thought it was interesting that the technology of them moving on and off the stage to the video was very cleverly done. And it created a wonderful telling of the story,” said Mr. Mereness.

The couple shared that they would recommend Shen Yun to their children and grandchildren.

“We have a granddaughter. Especially with the women and how elegant they were, and we thought she would love this because she’s very feminine. She would like that,” said Mr. Mereness.

One of their sons is an architect and Mrs. Mereness said: “If he had an opportunity to go, we would recommend it. That’s for sure.”

Reporting by Sally Sun and Maria Han.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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