LOS ANGELES—Actress Q’orianka Kilcher, likely most well-known for her role as Pocahontas in The New World, said Shen Yun Performing Arts was beautiful.
“I thought their skills were beautiful, and I thought the message that they showed within the entire performance was really relevant to today,” she said, after seeing the sold-out performance at the Dorothy Chandler on Jan. 26.
Shen Yun is a New York-based performing arts company that celebrates traditional Chinese culture and the spiritual core within that 5000-year legacy.
Ms. Kilcher is also a dedicated environmental and human rights activist and spends much of her time inspiring youth to be future leaders aware of global issues. Her new film, The Power of Few —that she is both starring in and producing—also has themes about standing up for what’s right and how one person’s actions can positively impact many people.
Ms. Kilcher recognized similar themes in Shen Yun and found the scenes about the persecution of Falun Gong particularly touching: “In terms of Falun Gong … I didn’t expect them to actually show that. So it was really great.”
Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, a meditation practice guided by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, “has helped over a hundred million Chinese people understand and return to the essence of traditional Chinese culture—Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist schools of thought,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
But because the Chinese Communist Party’s ideology is “in stark contrast” with such principles, and the traditional culture, the party began trying to eradicate the practice in 1999. However, Falun Gong practitioners have not yielded and work tirelessly to expose the injustice through peaceful actions.
“Their spirit of compassion and tolerance manifest the very essence of China’s 5,000-year-old divine culture,” continues Shen Yun’s website.
Most of the mini-drama pieces in Shen Yun take the audience throughout the rich history to different eras and areas of China. Classical Chinese dance, along with folk and ethnic dances, a live orchestra with both eastern and western instruments, an interactive digital backdrop, and solo vocalists and musicians make for one spectacular evening.
Ms. Kilcher was particularly impressed by the backdrop: “I thought the backdrop was absolutely amazing and original—the way they showed people coming in and then pop up from behind the stage. … It was quite magnificent.”
She was also impressed with the precision of the timing and placement of the dancers when they would fly down in the digital backdrop to the stage: “I was trying to see if they would come up in the wrong spots, but they always came up where it really looked like they were coming out the screen,” she said, laughing.
“It’s a really beautiful and relevant show,” she said. “It’s very beautiful to experience and sit in the audience.”
Reporting by Mandy Huang and Derek Padula.