The Parthenon

Culture and history dance into Clay Center

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Courtesy of Shen Yun Performing Arts

Courtesy of Shen Yun Performing Arts

“This is a show that wouldn’t normally be seen in West Virginia, so it’s an event that shouldn’t be missed.”

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The Clay Center production of Shen Yun will bring history and culture to Charleston Wednesday and Thursday.

Shen Yun tells the 5000-year history of China within a two-and-a-half hour production through dance and music.

As a country made up of dynasties, Chinese history comes with a variety of cultures as well as different styles of dress, music and dance.

Under communist rule, this culture and history has almost been destroyed. Shen Yun aims to bring light to a history that cannot be forgotten.

The production has its own live orchestra featuring ancient Chinese instruments and an intricate, animated background. The costumes are handmade and tailored for each dancer with different dynasty styles.

Dong Xiang, marketing liaison, said the show takes the audience on a tour of the virtues deeply rooted within China’s history.

“It really shows the principle virtues of compassion, wisdom and loyalty that are at the heart of this culture,” Xiang said. “It is a great chance to introduce Chinese culture to those who have never studied it. It honestly is a learning experience.”

Originating in New York, Shen Yun brings top talent from around the world to participate in the production. Each year the show travels for about six months performing in nearly 20 countries and more than 100 cities.

Shen Yun uses the two languages everyone is fluent in: music and dance.

This is a unique art form that is much more expressive than most.”

— Dong Xiang

However, Xiang said the dance style is a little different than those in most performances.

“This is much different than the ballet dance style.” Xiang said. “This is a unique art form that is much more expressive than most.”

Amy Xue, production volunteer, said she had heard only reviews of praise for the show.

“One person told me they left the show feeling 10 years younger,” Xue said. “This is a show that wouldn’t normally be seen in West Virginia, so it’s an event that shouldn’t be missed.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Clay Center box office.

Kaitlyn Clay can be contacted at [email protected]

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