ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Aracelia Vila, a retired business executive and current board member for AVID—a college preparedness program-was impressed after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts New Year’s Eve at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
She described Shen Yun as “Very beautiful, very uplifting. It’s very positive.”
Established in 2006, Shen Yun is a New York-based classical Chinese music and dance company that tours the world each year on its stated mission to restore and revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture.
After 60 years of communist rule, and especially after the Cultural Revolution, Chinese culture was almost destroyed.
Ms. Vila said that she has been to China a few times and that she is fascinated by Chinese culture.
“But this is very subtle, very delicate, and I found it very positive, very uplifting,” she said, adding that the Buddhist culture is all positive and good.
Although a Shen Yun performance primarily includes classical Chinese and ethnic folk dance, also featured are vocal soloists who use the highly difficult technical requirements of the bel canto operatic singing while holding to proper Chinese articulation and diction, which is unparalleled today, according to Shen Yun’s website.
Ms. Vila said, “The songs are very beautiful, appealing to the senses. It’s visually very beautiful, and the sounds are very beautiful. And the dancers were extraordinary.”
Shen Yun includes a collection of short pieces that whisk the audience through time from the legend of the culture’s creation 5,000 years ago up through to modern times with the story of Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong.
The contemporary pieces highlight the moral courage of those currently suffering persecution in China. Ms. Vila said she was surprised to see these pieces, but she thought they were very interesting.
‘The concept was just beautiful’
Also in attendance New Year’s Eve were Ray Bojanowski, an independent furniture professional, and his wife, Denise.
Both were excited with the overall production of Shen Yun.
Mrs. Bojanowski said, “Oh, it was beautiful, the colors, the dancing—everything … The concept was just beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Classical Chinese dance is a culture left by the ancients, and Shen Yun’s website explains that it should be shared by all of humanity, and its purity should not be contaminated.
Mrs. Bojanowski said she could see how aspects of dance originated from China’s 5,000-year-old culture.
They both agreed that Shen Yun Orchestra’s blend of Eastern and Western instrumentals, along with the visuals, including the artist’s vibrant costumes and the vivid, animated backdrops, interaction with the dancers, were excellent.
“[They] were really incredible,” said Mr. Bojanowski.
His wife laughed. “I don’t know how they did that, but it was great,” she said.
Reporting by Sophia Fang and Albert Roman.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will be performing in Sacramento from Jan. 2 to Jan.3. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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