Stage props strengthen a dancer’s ability to convey intricate emotions. When used to maximum effect, they add to the dances an extra lively spark, forming stunning images of beauty and splendor onstage.

In recent years, Shen Yun dances have featured a range of unexpected props, each telling a story. Fluttering fans bloom like the petals of a delicate flower. Umbrellas twirl in refreshing drizzle. An embroidery hoop seamlessly accents a lady’s feminine grace. A well-bound book marks the learned scholar. A solitary Daoist journeys with a magical whisk. A long silk ribbon, dyed in rainbow hues, returns to the heavens as a fairy’s companion.

While the young general Han Xin sports a Chinese sword known as baojian, Mulan’s warriors face enemies armed with shields and broadswords called dao. Archers train with drawn bows, and nothing radiates power like a formation of Tang dynasty men pounding their battle drums.

Read more...