THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—”I absolutely love the show; it was so beautiful. It really took away a feeling of depression, it is fantastic,” said Ms. Avia Belle-Moon at The Fred Kavli Theatre Thousand Oaks on Jan. 22.
She said the Shen Yun Touring Company performance refreshed her. The artists’ mission is to revive the divinely inspired 5,000-year-old civilization.
“It was fantastic, so, so, fantastic; really touching and very beautiful. It’s rare to see that. That kind of Asian beauty is so different from Western culture, so elegant and so different. Because I lived in Japan for so long I understand the power and beauty of Asian culture, Japanese and Chinese culture is so different from here, so it’s so refreshing for me to see that,” she said.
Ms. Belle-Moon is an author and screenwriter who lived in Japan and worked for the Japan Times. She has an affinity for the East. She wrote a novel set in ancient Kyoto and in Hangzhou, China, which Marco Polo called “the most beautiful and elegant city in the world,” according to ChinaHighlights.com.
She said she found beauty in the artists’ mission of reviving Chinese culture.
“Reviving the Chinese traditional culture, it’s just so beautiful. I think it’s fantastic they are trying to preserve that. Chinese culture is so fascinating and gorgeous; it’s so nice to see that again …” Ms. Belle-Moon said.
For her, all the components came together to create an esthetic experience. “The thing I enjoyed the most was the costumes, colors, dancing and backdrop, so beautiful, it was beautiful. Everything was beautiful. I love beauty, any kind of beauty,” she said.
“With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one,” according to the Shen Yun website.
The digital backdrops intrigued her. “I loved the special effects they had with the Buddhas flying, it was just fantastic, it was interesting and fascinating; so different from American culture,” Ms. Belle-Moon said.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture.”
To Ms. Belle-Moon, art and traditional culture can be a force for peace. She said, “This is so important. I believe arts and culture can prevent war between the two cultures. That’s the power of arts and culture. We need that.” She said she wished there were more arts and humanities in schools, because understanding the culture of another country creates empathy and respect.
“Through the arts, through arts to spread peace and culture through the arts; and that is my passion,” she said.
Ms. Belle-Moon said she thought that the theme of the show was peace and joy, and international understanding. “We need to learn about each others’ country, each country. It’s a way of preventing war between the two countries. That’s why I believe arts and culture are so important.”
Reporting by Lu Rusong and Masha Savitz.
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
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