ESCONDIDO, Calif.–Annie Lewin, her husband Bob Lewin, and their friend Lee Fones visited the California Center for the Arts to watch Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time.
“Fabulous, absolutely fabulous.” said Bob Lewin, who is a trial lawyer. “Just incredible movements. The women—the way they float is magic.”
New York-based Shen Yun brings world-class singers, a full orchestra, and a company of classical Chinese dancers wherever they tour.
The sopranos’ singing moved Ms. Fones to tears. “It all was just so wonderful. I love the scenes and the lyrics,” he said. “It was just magnificent. The words, the beauty, the fluidity.”
“Classical Chinese dance is a culture left to us by the ancients who came before us. Its beauty should be riches shared by all of humanity,” reads the Shen Yun website.
Ms. Fones said, “The amazing thing is that there is confluence. There is beauty in all religions, in all people, all concepts, and this is an expression of beauty.”
After the show, Mrs. Lewin, who works as an artist, shared her view on the value of beauty: “A beautiful life, a joyous life. Like the harvest song, where they did a joyful harvest. They were just happy that they created food and provided nourishment for the people. That’s joy, and life should be joyful for people.”
Classical Chinese dance, a system of dance nearly as old as China’s civilization, according to the company, is at the heart of every Shen Yun performance.
Mr. Lewin saw “incredible beauty. It’s magnificent beauty; it’s tremendous beauty and energy.
“And it’s so suppressed. They’re suppressed in China. It’s just mind-boggling to me. This big, giant country, and they’ve suppressed that kind of beauty, dance, and music.”
After more than 60 years of communist rule in China, and especially during the Cultural Revolution, traditional Chinese culture was has been nearly wiped out. New York-based Shen Yun aims, as its mission, to restore and revive Chinese culture.
“Here, we’re allowed to express [our spirituality] and be free, and have the experience. I don’t have to go to China to experience [Shen Yun]—they came to me!” Mr. Lewin said.
Reporting by Sally Sun and Andrew Chan.
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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