COSTA MESA, Calif.—“Very colorful, very beautiful, extremely talented, and the physical condition of the dancers is amazing,” said Gary Charlwood, owner of multinational real estate and travel companies.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company played to a full house for today’s matinee, Jan. 20, at Orange County’s Segerstrom Hall. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture, which was almost entirely wiped out during China’s Cultural Revolution.
The first-of-its-kind Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra blends classical Eastern instruments with classical Western instruments to deliver an ethereal sound to accompany the world-class dancers and singers.
“It [the music] was great—in perfect time with the dancing,” Mr. Charlwood said.
Sharing the performance was medical student Jourabchi, who said: “I loved it. It’s amazing, and I loved the colors.”
“I loved how the dancers were in sync with the orchestra. It’s an amazing performance. I really enjoyed it very much, and I really liked learning about the Chinese culture,” Jourabchi said.
As someone who appreciates playing the piano, Jourabchi “really enjoyed the performance of the soprano singer with the pianist,” he said. “It was amazing.”
His wife, Mrs. Charlwood, said, “I loved it, amazing color, beautiful music—and so relaxing, too.”
Through the performing arts—dance, music, and song—China’s rich cultural heritage is brought to life with historical and contemporary pieces, classical Chinese dance, ethnic traditional dances, and ancient folklore.
“Chinese mythology … it’s always fascinating,” Mr. Charlwood said. He also felt that Shen Yun helped him gain additional insight about the Chinese culture.
Mrs. Charlwood agreed, “Yes, definitely.”
“We see China today as a modern colossus coming up, that’s just huge history … 5,000 [years] of culture and history,” Mr. Charlwood said. “I knew it, but it just makes it clear.”
According to the Shen Yun website, “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.”
Mr. and Mrs. Charlwood both enjoyed the precision and seamless synchronization of the backdrops with the dancers. They both felt that the backdrops were amazingly beautiful, and that the technology was phenomenal.
“Also the going up to heaven—it was one of the Falun Gong scenes where they went up to heaven. It was very impressive,” Mr. Charlwood said. He was referring to a dance that tells a story of good versus evil in today’s China—the communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice.
Reporting by Lu Rusong and Maria Banks.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform in Thousand Oaks at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Jan. 22 and 23, and downtown 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
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