SAN DIEGO—”It’s a beautiful look at China as it once was and as it should be,” Mr. Brian Williams said after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts at San Diego Civic Center on Wednesday evening, Dec. 26. He recommends it to everyone.
Mr. Williams, a retired Military Operations Officer and his wife, with Uta Opitz, a student majoring in International Relations, felt tonight’s show brought them a different understanding and appreciation of ancient Chinese history and culture.
Ms. Opitz felt learning some of China’s history “improved the image of China.”
“Beautiful costumes, beautiful dance, beautiful dancers. Very good that it shows what’s going on with Falun Dafa and how it’s oppressed. I think it’s good that it shows the world what’s happening.”
“I thought it was incredibly good. Very colorful, very athletic,” Mr. Williams said. “I think it just rounded out my vision of Chinese culture. Showing the Bai people, and the Yi, and the Han, as a dynasty. And it was just colorfully done!”
Shen Yun performances present the ancient myths, legends and dynasties of China, as well as contemporary, true stories of courage and bravery. The audience is lifted into a mystical realm as they travel through history on a magic carpet provided by wonderful digital backdrops and a live orchestra that blends Western and Chinese instruments into a wonderful and unique harmony.
“There are so many elements in Western dance that are obviously borrowed from Chinese.
“It was a colorful extravaganza,” said Ms. Opitz.
‘The dancing is so enchanting’
Mr. Rob DeVille, who works at San Diego’s naval base, and his friend, Ms. Shawn McBain, a Mortage Processor, had come with their friends to enjoy the New York-based Shen Yun.
Ms. McBain had danced ballet from the age of 3 until 19 and she appreciated so many different elements of the performance. “The show is lovely. The costumes are phenomenal. The dancing is so enchanting,” she said. “I was a dancer growing up, so I appreciate all of the movements and the hand positions and the head positions. The Chinese culture is very, very interesting, and I’m just so excited to be here!”
Mr. DeVille echoed her sentiment. “I love the culture, the tradition, the music, and I really love the martial arts of the dance, and the women’s dance. I love all the hand movements. I love the music, it’s very exciting!”
The spirit of the show touched each of them. Mr. DeVille said, “It makes me very warm, very
excited, pleased, very calm. Beautiful!”
“Happy, joyful.” responded Ms. McBain.
Mr. DeVille spoke about the parts which will linger in his heart. “The beauty, the power. I really enjoyed the stories. All the stories that they were telling, all the different times in the Chinese history. I loved it, it was great!”
“The orchestra was phenomenal!” he added, “I love it. It’s great. It gives you the chills to be this close, where you really get the effect of the music and the dance right in front of you.”
They all plan on recommending it to their friends! Each from a different perspective. Mr. DeVille will tell his friends, “They’ve got to experience it. It’s something you need to experience to really appreciate it. Everyone [should come].”
Ms. McBain said: “All kinds of people [should see it]. The beautiful thing about this is that you can get a taste of the culture and the history in a beautiful, passionate way that was very captivating. It was just enough to make you want more. We will—I will—definitely look forward to the show next year!”
Reporting by Jane Yang and Cheryl Casati.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at San Diego Civic Center Dec. 27 before heading north to Escondido to perform at California Center for the Arts from Dec. 28 to Dec. 31.
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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