LOS ANGELES—LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and his wife Avis Ridley-Thomas were proud to attend the sold-out performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Jan. 27.
“It’s just a wonderful way to experience a Sunday afternoon, as a story is being told from 5,000 years ago, and they’re making it as modern as today,” said Mr. Ridley-Thomas.
“I think it was lovely,” Mrs. Thomas said, “The costumes are beautiful.”
Shen Yun is based in New York and was founded in 2006 with the goal of reviving the lost heritage of China’s 5,000 year divinely inspired traditional culture, according to the company’s website.
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending the sounds of both East and West, breathtaking backdrops, splendid costumes, vocalists—together creating an experience that’s leaving millions in awe,” states the website.
As a former teacher who has taught ethnic studies, Mr. Ridley-Thomas enjoyed Shen Yun’s unique cultural experience.
“I have a great appreciation for the richness and the diversity of various cultures as we seek to find common ground,” he said. “One of the ways to advance more cultural cooperation is through music, through the arts, through theater, and that’s what we’re doing today.”
Mr. Ridley-Thomas appreciated the number of diverse stories behind the dances. “It’s a story of valor, it’s a story of [conquest], it’s a story of religion, it’s a story of relationships among people it’s a story of engagement with law enforcement—it’s all of that,” he said.
The digital backdrops were especially impressive to Mr. Ridley-Thomas. “I love the way in which they are integrating technology,” he said. “I’ve not seen that done in that way before, and so it’s really a delight to participate and learn of this technique.”
Mr. Ridley-Thomas encouraged the performers to continue making wonderful performances. “Keep doing it, and do it more!” he said.
For everyone who has not yet seen the show, Mr. Ridley-Thomas wanted to say: “Come and see this! You’ll learn a lot, and you’ll appreciate it immensely.”
Reporting by Yaning Liu, Mandy Huang, and Sarah Le.
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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