A Look at Props Over the Years
Shen Yun dances feature a range of unexpected stage props, each telling a story.
Shen Yun 2008: Water Sleeves. Weightless and delicate, these silken sleeves are perfect for expressing the aesthetic ideals of classical Chinese dance: gentleness, grace, and elegance.
Shen Yun 2008: Forsythia in Spring. Round, orange handkerchiefs are the centerpiece of this northeastern folk dance. Made of bright, sturdy cloth, they spin and twirl on dancers’ fingertips, evoking fields of blooming spring flowers.
Shen Yun 2008: Ladies of the Manchu Court. Most remember this piece for the dancers’ elaborate headdresses and extraordinary raised shoes. Yet it is the dancers’ simple silk handkerchiefs that unveil their personality. Every playful toss and elegant gesture paints a picture of Qing dynasty palace life as experienced by its refined noblewomen.
Shen Yun 2007: Mongolian Bowl Dance. The Mongolian people have long been known as warm hosts and creative entertainers. In one popular custom, Mongolian women greet guests from afar by balancing bowls on top of their heads. Filled to the brim with daring spins and catchy tempos, the Mongolian Bowl Dance is a delightful peek into Mongolian culture. (But don’t try this at home.)
Shen Yun 2009: Welcoming Spring. Popular and pretty, the Chinese fan is known for its versatility. Like the first signs of spring, the fans in this piece take on a variety of forms. One moment they are crisp leaves basking in sunlight, the next they are silken petals blossoming from a bud.
Shen Yun 2008: Chopsticks Zest. An ordinary bundle of chopsticks transforms into something completely different ons tage. Mongolian ingenuity shines in this festival of rhythm, sound, and color. Male dancers strike the chopsticks-turned-percussion instruments against their bodies, producing a distinctive, vigorous beat.