LOS ANGELES—“It was so fabulous,” remarked legendary actress Margaret O’Brien when she and her manager, Mr. Malone, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s opening night, Jan 24, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Ms. O’Brien is a Hollywood legend. She was the youngest star to receive an Academy Award for Outstanding Juvenile Performer in 1944. She has four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards. Her career has covered not only film but also stage, Broadway shows, television, and radio.
Shen Yun’s performance held special meaning for Ms. O’Brien: “It means so much! I can’t tell you how much! It was so fabulous. This is my birthday present, today’s my birthday. I wanted to see this show so much!”
Mr. Malone said that Ms. O’Brien had heard so much about New York-based Shen Yun: “She had been told so many times, from very wonderful performers, how great this [Shen Yun] was. We are so honored. She is honored to be here.”
“This is beautiful!” Ms. O’Brien said. “I was going to see it in Thousand Oaks, but they said I should see it here because the venue is bigger, and I’m so glad. It’s just wonderful. Oh, but it’s so wonderful, so wonderful. It’s just fabulous!”
Classical Chinese Dance
Ms. O’Brien appreciates the classical Chinese dance with a professional eye: “I know how difficult dancing is because I’ve been a dancer, my mother was a dancer, so I know what hard work it is. I love the dancing and precision. Elegant! Beautiful! It’s everything I thought it would be—just wonderful!”
“I don’t think people realize all the work that goes into dancing, and how much you have to love the dancing, and also the physical hazards that go with dancing. So I admire all of the young people that were in the show and do all this wonderful dancing,” she said.
Shen Yun’s website tells us why classical Chinese dance is so unique: “Through the expression of bearing and form, beautiful dance movements bring out the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings, reflecting the peculiarities of human nature, the standard for human conduct, moral concepts, mental state, one’s value system and so on.”
‘It’s just wonderful’
As a collector of Chinese art and a person who cherishes the ancient Chinese culture, Ms. O’Brien said: “It’s just wonderful. I think what’s so wonderful is that this show brings back the wonderful culture of China—the old culture.
“I think this is so marvelous and wonderful because I love the Chinese culture. The arts, paintings, statues, ceramics, and everything, is so important. I read all of the books on Chinese culture. This show has brought so much of it to me.
“We all have to know where we come from and what our beautiful music, dance, and way of life is. I admire all the people that bring this show because we don’t have enough of our old culture today, in all countries,” Ms. O’Brien said.
“She couldn’t wait to get here,” Mr. Malone said. “So many famous people, her friends, told her how wonderful it was—the precision, the colors—and it’s everything they said! This is marvelous.”
‘Tell all the young people’
Ms. O’Brien thinks it’s important that more people experience Shen Yun’s revival of the ancient Chinese culture: “I want to tell all the young people to make sure that they go and see this show because it brings back the beauty of the dance, the precision of the dance, and the culture of China.
“I’m going to tell my daughter to make sure she brings all her young friends to see the show because that’s very important today.”
“I admire all the producers and everybody that does this show and brings it here for us, for all to see, and for young people, especially, to see,” she added.
The evening ended with a standing ovation for the Shen Yun performers.
Reporting by Michael Ye, Laura Gu, and Cheryl Casati.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform in Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Jan. 25 through 27. Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.