ESCONDIDO, Calif.—”I think I love the music,” said Dr. Prabhakar Tripuraneni after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts present an introduction to 5,000 years of Chinese history to an enthusiastic audience on the last Sunday of the year.
Attending the matinee performance was Prabhakar Tripuraneni, MD, head of the Radiation Oncology Division at Scripps Green Hospital, who came to see the year out with his wife and friends.
Dr. Tripuraneni was impressed by what he saw, “Especially all the dancers right in there, the men and the women right in there—it’s a wonderful show. I’m glad we came.”
With front-row seats, the doctor had the perfect view to attend to every intricate detail of the performance, from the brilliant color of the authentic costumes to a view of the Shen Yun Performing Orchestra.
The music has a foundation of a Western philharmonic orchestra, while traditional Chinese instruments like the erhu, dizi, pipa, and suona lead the melodies.
“That’s the part we like about it right in there,” said Dr. Tripuraneni. “Not only the details, the process, but also the facial expression and the hand and the feet movements. And at the same time we were able to watch the musicians also, so it’s the best seat that we had; it’s wonderful.”
Dr. Tripuraneni explained that he had seen a show in Beijing: “I remember actually, when I was in Beijing several years ago I saw a Chinese dance. … Not Shen Yun—it’s actually a feast to the eyes and the ears.”
Expounding on the differences between the Beijing performance and Shen Yun, Dr. Tripuraneni said, “I think actually in China, we saw just only one part, whereas in Shen Yun, actually what you’re seeing is really bringing in the history there. So you see multiple dynasties kind of going through, and basically quite a range of the music from one end to the other. That’s the part I liked. And also the dances.”
Passed down continuously within the imperial palaces and ancient Chinese theaters and operas, while developing and incorporating the profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, classical Chinese dance has become a complete system of dance that embodies traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.
Dr. Tripuraneni appreciated the stories conveyed in the performance, saying, “Excellent. Both my children are actually classical Indian dancers—Bharatanatyam—classical Indian dance. There are lots of elements. It’s basically not only the expression of the hand and the feet, and basically the whole mind. So we’re kind of familiar in a different culture.”
“We came and we are not disappointed at all,” he added. “I’m very pleased that we came.”
Classical Chinese dance is rich with expressive power. Using bearing and form, the beautiful dance movements bring out the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings that reflect the peculiarities of human nature, the standard for human conduct, moral concepts, mental states, and value systems.
“We’re just regular people, and we just wanted to come and watch. You don’t have to be an artist to actually enjoy and appreciate the show,” said Dr. Tripuraneni, who has been honorably placed on The Best Doctors in America list.
“You got to go to see it—there are no two ways about it,” he said, laughing. “I’ll buy you the ticket!”
Reporting by Jane Yang and Masha Savitz.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will be in Escondido for performances at the California Center for the Arts through Dec. 31.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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