ORLANDO, FLA.—When Mr. Larry Colleton and his wife Lynn Colleton saw Shen Yun International Company at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, it was something new and different for the arts supporters.
The couple enjoys and attends dance and classical music performances. Shen Yun broadened their horizons: “For me it was different, but different in a positive sense. It was great to learn more about Chinese culture, and I think it helped to educate me,” Mr. Colleton said.
He became the first African-American U.S. Attorney in Florida in the 1990s. Later he moved to Washington, D.C, where he served as counselor to the administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Mrs. Colleton, an accountant, said she was moved that “we were able to see something that people in China couldn’t see.” Shen Yun is based in New York and has not been allowed to visit China. Its mission is to revive the traditional Chinese culture that the Communist Party has nearly destroyed.
“Their culture … they can’t even enjoy their own performance, and here we are being able to take part. That’s what I think,” she said.
Mr. Colleton said Orlando needs more performing arts. He enjoyed the Shen Yun Orchestra: “Excellent. I liked the combination of both Chinese and what we’d call in the West, classical instruments.”
According to the Shen Yun website, “A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear. The ensemble at once expresses both the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization.”
Mrs. Colleton said having an orchestra accompany dance is much better than having recorded music. “We truly enjoyed the live performance because I have been to other performances that have just been on tape. We don’t really care for that. There’s something about experiencing true, live orchestra.”
Each of them said the experience gave them pleasure. “We just thoroughly enjoyed it,” Mr. Colleton said.
Mrs. Colleton said she wished more people had a chance to see Shen Yun. “We just truly enjoyed it. You can tell. It was just fantastic. Again, we just wish more people could come and appreciate the performance.”
Once again, the audience gave the company a standing ovation at the end. During the dance An Early Spring, thunderous applause sounded, and some people cheered.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. The International Company will perform in Orlando again on Jan. 17. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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