ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Several friends, including sculptor Bob McAleese, retired finance professional Chris Gulve, and asset manager Gordon Corwin, came together to attend what they described as a beautiful show.
“We thought the show was beautiful, the costumes were beautiful, very intricate. The [silk], it was beautiful!” said Mr. Gulve. “So that made an impression on it, the impression of how they danced, how light they were on their feet. I like all the different stories, but I liked when the opera singer sang and the words were on there—both Chinese and English.
“The colors to me were very spiritual colors, as far as my perception goes,” he added, “It’s kind of pastel, but the gold and the violets and the blues and the—gorgeous.”
Mr. Gulve spoke about the piece depicting the persecution of Falun Gong, an ancient mind-body practice that is still persecuted in China today, saying the “story about some of the persecution that occurred, and I have a friend up in Orange County that is giving me a lot of information about Falun Gong and what’s happening, and you see the artists coming here now, but they’re persecuted [in China].”
Mr. Gulve introduced his mother: “Ninety years old. Doesn’t she look great? She was a dancer, and that’s how she stayed so young.”
His mother was impressed with the dancers, saying, “That’s why I enjoyed the dancing so much. Because they were so light and graceful. Very nice.”
“Obviously a great performance,” said Mr. Corwin. “I really enjoyed the performance a lot. Like Chris, I liked the colors. I liked the synchronicity of how everybody was blended together in doing all their different dances. And the different traditions in different areas of China, how they showed that—the different ethnic groups—was really nice.
Mr. Corwin continued, “And I particularly liked the portrayal of the Buddhas, the Buddha-dressed people coming out in the saffron robes, that was a particularly nice one. That was kind of moving. I liked that part. And the music was great, the synchronization of the music and the dancing—it’s quite extraordinary.”
New York-based Shen Yun brings world-class singers and a full orchestra to the stage.
“It was neat to have the classical music with the Chinese instruments,” said Mr. Gulve. “And it was kind of neat to show each instrument too.”
Mr. McAleese said, “This was a symbol of what Chinese culture has to offer, but all peoples around the world, we all have something unique to say, and I’m happy that we’re in a place where it can be said.”
“But we’re all from different places,” he continued, “but we all can really relate with what was said; the couple opera singers singing … I had no idea what they were saying in your own language, but I can read it, that’s how we feel. It was a beautiful experience, and I hope they keep on going everywhere.”
Shen Yun, established in 2006, was formed to restore this traditional culture and display its grandeur around the world, including its universal values, according to Shen Yun’s website.
Mr. Gulve was positive about Shen Yun’s success: “So you’re bringing the message around [the world], it’ll get through.”
Reporting by Sophia Fang.
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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