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Dancing in Exile

Shen Yun are a ballsy bunch. The group of Chinese dancers and musicians take some high-flying risks in their stage performances, but it’s what’s on their website that strikes me as pretty courageous: They bash China. And not passive aggressively, like “Oh, hey, we WOULD do this in China but there are some bureaucratic snafus that make that difficult,” but directly. As in “unfortunately, over the past 60 years, this cultural treasure has been persecuted and co-opted by the Chinese Communist Party.” Yowza. So, the Shen Yun Performing Arts won’t be making any plans to tour their homeland anytime soon, but that’s OK. It means more for us, and that is indeed a good thing. Shen Yun puts on a hell of a show, with a colorful, vibrant spectacle of traditional Chinese dance and song combining a Western orchestra with Chinese instruments for a one-of-a-kind soundtrack. The company posits that their ability to express themselves fully outside of China allows their ancient culture to shine during performances that merge Chinese history and tradition with inspiring imagery and music. Appropriate (and stimulating) for the entire family, Shen Yun conveys 5,000 years of civilization during just a few hours at the Winspear Opera House (2403 Flora St.) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $50 to $150 and may be purchased at
Fri., Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 18, 2 p.m., 2011


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