ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Jim Karras, Ph.D., came with his mother to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the California Center for the Arts on New Year’s Eve.
“It was beautiful,” said Dr. Karras, who is the Senior Director of Immunology at a company that does research for a major, global health services company. “I liked all the diversity, the different regions of China that were covered, and the different religions and cultural styles,” he said.
Established in 2006, Shen Yun, a New York-based classical Chinese performing arts company, tours the world each year to restore and revive China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture. After 60 years of Communist rule, and especially after the Cultural Revolution, Chinese culture was almost destroyed.
Dr. Karras was very impressed with the dancer’s athleticism and the choreography, and he said enjoyed the beautiful music and the elegant costumes.
Dr. Karras also brought his mother to the show for her Christmas and New Year’s present. Ms. Karras, who had wanted to see the show, said, “I enjoyed it very much. The costumes were beautiful. I enjoyed everything about it really, what can I say?”
A Shen Yun performance primarily includes classical Chinese and ethnic folk dance, and all of the colorful and vibrant costumes are handmade for each different dance number.
Also included in the some of the performances are vocal soloists who sing in the highly difficult bel canto operatic style while holding to proper Chinese articulation and diction, according to Shen Yun’s website.
The spiritual aspect of the show also interested Dr. Karras, and he believed it came through very strongly in the performance.
“[Shen Yun] is a celebration of spirituality throughout the history of the country,” he said. “And how that spirituality and that culture has been repressed to some extent, and that this is a reminder to everyone of the origins and belief systems of China.”
Dr. Karras also thought the show was a gentle reminder to all people that the Chinese culture is a very important piece of our global culture, and that we should not allow it to disappear.
Reporting By Sally Sun.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will be performing in Sacramento from Jan. 2 to Jan.3. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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