COSTA MESA, Calif.—Grant Hallstrom, the managing partner of the law firm Hallstrom, Klein & Ward, LLP, attended Shen Yun Touring Company’s sold-out opening night performance on January 18, at the lovely Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County.
“Modesty, beauty, and good triumphing over evil, it was wonderful!” said Mr. Hallstrom, who was accompanied by his wife.
The Chinese culture—5,000 years old—inspire and shape of Shen Yun performances. The heart of ancient Chinese culture was drawn from values such as compassion, kindness, bravery and loyalty, as well as veneration of heaven and nature. Shen Yun Performing Arts, a group of overseas Chinese artists based in New York, brings this rich heritage to life.
What first meets the eye is Shen Yun’s refined choreography. The dancers, adorned with hand detailed costumes, are accompanied by a symphony orchestra that seamlessly blends Eastern and Western classical instruments. Visually stunning back drops round out the artistic components.
Beneath the surface of the art one soon finds oneself deeply immersed in traditional Chinese culture, with heaven and earth coming together.
“Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one,” says Shen Yun’s website. “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
“The dancing was wonderful,” said Mrs. Hallstrom, a piano teacher. “It was a good message.”
Shen Yun’s costume artists “collect countless designs of traditional attire, ranging from those of emperors, ministers, and generals to the everyday clothing of the common people,” according to the company’s website. “They use bright colors to tailor and recreate hundreds of new pieces each season. Every detail is given meticulous attention and is a result of artistic inspiration and careful polishing.”
“I personally liked the costumes—I thought they were gorgeous,” said Mr. Hallstrom.
It is believed in ancient Chinese wisdom that to create true art the inner world of the performer must be honorable and pure, conveying the essence of the divine to the audience.
“I’m impressed with the modesty of the costumes,” said Mrs. Hallstrom. “You don’t see dancers dressed like that usually; it was very nice. I think that carries a message.”
“Yes, and yet very beautiful,” said Mr. Hallstrom.
Having traveled extensively to China, Mr. Hallstrom expressed his interest and fascination with China and its history. Shen Yun’s performance helped him value and appreciate “the beauty and depth of history” within China’s culture.
“It’s the kind of thing you try to teach your children,” said Mrs. Hallstrom.
In describing his overall impression of the evening’s performance Mr. Hallstrom said, “Good versus evil … beauty triumphs. Virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy.” One should strive to acquire the virtues seen throughout the performance, he added.
Reporting by Yaning Liu and Maria Banks.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will be at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa Jan. 18-20. New York-based Shen Yun has three companies that tour the world each year on a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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