THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.-Bill Wishard, a business owner and president of Malibu Rotary Club, attended the sold out performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Fred Kavli Theatre for the Performing Arts, Jan. 22.
He was happy to express his enthusiasm about it.
After reading outstanding comments from well known people on Shen Yun advertisements, he decided to attend the performance. “I’m not that well known, but I definitely agree with them. It was one of the best I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Mr. Wishard understands what’s required to make large scale productions.
It lived up to its advertising and promotion. It was spectacular.
He said that he has dedicated most of his life to producing big public events for non-profit organizations. “I spent two years on a team that produced the biggest event in the history of California—the 1984 Olympic Games,” he said.
Mr. Wishard also played a major role in an organization putting on a musical production.
“We had music that celebrated the culture of America for just 200 years,” he said. “Now you have thousands of years of Chinese culture. It’s been in my bones a long time.” Mr. Wishard appeared to feel a connection to Chinese culture.
Shen Yun is a New York-based music and dance company with the mission of reviving 5,000 years of divinely-inspired culture.
Mr. Wishard was thrilled. “It was spectacular,” he said. “It lived up to its advertising and promotion. It was spectacular. The thousands of years of culture and themes that came about. It was so well put together,” he said.
He also liked how the English and Chinese-speaking emcees explained the cultural and historical significance before each piece.
According to the company’s website, “A Shen Yun performance includes the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending the sounds of both East and West, breathtaking backdrops, splendid costumes, and vocalists-together creating an experience leaving millions in awe.”
Mr. Wishard said he enjoyed each of these aspects of the performance, including the spirituality, which he said was not too specific but strong.
“I don’t remember the words, but ‘coming from heaven,’ ‘waiting thousands of years to come from heaven and find … Fa on earth, and then go back to heaven.’ It was very good. Especially now, seeing that kind of spirit.”
He was referring to the lyrics of the solo vocalists, which are “brimming with philosophical reflections about human life and deep layers of meaning,” according the Shen Yun’s website.
After seeing that Shen Yun was sold out and how big the production was, Mr. Wishard was clearly impressed. “I was counting how many [performers] were on stage … ,” he said.
Mr. Wishard described all the features of Shen Yun that he could recall: “Mixing the singing and the dancing and the colors and the costumes and the silk flowing; the visual was spectacular, and the backdrops of beautiful scenery from China and tying in with the dancing with all the silk flowing and the visual. And then when there were important words, having them printed in English. There weren’t too many, but we got the point: people waiting thousands of years, and in the end the world crashing and collapsing, and then some spiritual figure came in and put the world back together. Wow! Pretty amazing for 2013.”
Reporting by Laura Gu and Albert Roman.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will visit Los Angeles Jan. 25 to Jan. 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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