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“You couldn’t help but being moved—each song, each item”- Toledo Gallery Owner impressed by Shen Yun show

Posted by Author on May 18, 2010

TOLEDO, Ohio— In a Shen Yun performance, it has been said that the deep resonance of China’s millennia-old culture is seen coursing throughout, and the bearing and skill of the dancers carries stories forward from long ago. It has been described as a very moving experience by theater-goers the world over. Tonight in Toledo was no exception. The audience, after tonight’s May 14 show at the Stranahan Theater, added their voices to history during Shen Yun’s epoch-making world tour.

Eric Hillenbrand, owner of Toledo’s 20 North Gallery, has also performed with Toledo Ballet and Toledo Opera. He was accompanied to Shen Yun by Condessa Croninger, Associate Art Director of 20 North Gallery, who is very involved in the Toledo performing arts community. Both Mr. Hillenbrand and Ms. Croninger spoke of the rare experience of seeing Shen Yun.

“I had seen productions on an international level, this had something very special,” said Mr. Hillenbrand.

Ms. Croninger described her reaction to the performance. “We were swept away by the beauty of the performance and also by the incredible power of the arts to provide such a universal and compelling language to express the desire to be free. We were so moved and feel enriched by the performance.”

Regarding the artistry of the performers, Ms. Croninger found Shen Yun to be “just amazing.” She said, “the dancers have such a lyrical sense of expression and such a powerful delivery, its just a beautiful performance … It’s so vivid and vibrant … the entire production just makes a beautiful presentation.”

Mr. Hillenbrand added, “And the precision is overwhelming, I mean just to watch them—and I must tell you the singers … just so touching, so amazing, very powerful.” He continued, “I will be honest with you, I have seen many theatrical productions and have been in few myself, this is … it is world class, it is something that one sees so rarely, it is truly tremendous.” Ms. Croninger agreed that Shen Yun reflected great, quality performing arts and was the first she had seen of this caliber in the genre of classical Chinese dance.

To hear these two voices from the arts community speak, the superb technique and stunning visual impact of Shen Yun was, nevertheless, just the beginning. Mr. Hillenbrand said, “When you saw the whole show, it is very masterful-expressions of people desiring to be free. You get past the artistry, the story is just so powerful, so compelling.” He expressed that, beyond the artists’ refined techniques, the message within Shen Yun made it “truly an overwhelming and powerful production.”

The creative team from 20 North Gallery were in agreement on what proved for them to be a pivotal moment in the performance. Early in the first act of Shen Yun, tenor Tian Ge performed Will You Come Through to a hushed house.

Mr. Hillenbrand confided, “I must tell you, the first gentleman, the first tenor that came out and sang in the first act-his singing was heroic. It was so powerful and yet the words themselves were such delicate expression of this desire for freedom—that literally made me cry. I was overwhelmed, I wasn’t expecting anything that powerful, anything that would touch me so directly, so fervently. It was jaw-dropping, I was just overwhelmed.”

Ms. Croninger agreed. “The performance of Will You Come Through was masterful and so moving that it’s almost indescribable.”

Mr. Hillenbrand affirmed: “I just couldn’t even believe it, I literally … by the end of it I was in tears, I was like ‘where did that come from?’” Ms. Croninger laughed softly in sympathy and Mr. Hillenbrand continued, “It just overwhelmed me—there’s no other way of putting it. And that’s when I started seeing the rest of the show with this different, kind of an over-arching concept of what the show was. These people trying to express a desire for religious freedom, freedom as a people. You couldn’t help but being moved—each song, each item.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes)

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