THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—Mortgage broker Bob Davis, who works at Heritage Oaks Bank, and his wife Mary Davis, an editor for Gospel Light Publications, were both enchanted by the sold-out performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at Fred Kavli Theatre on Jan. 23.
Mr. Davis had heard about New York-based Shen Yun through the Rotary Club in Ventura. “It was everything I expected it to be. It was glorious. It was beautiful,” he said.
Shen Yun’s stated mission is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture through music and dance. Classical Chinese dance pieces are accompanied by a live orchestra with both Eastern and Western instruments. Ethnic and folk dances, solo vocalists, and an interactive digital backdrop round out the performance.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Mr. Davis. He liked the music, and he thought the dancers were incredible. He wondered how they were capable of making all those difficult movements of classical Chinese dance look so easy.
Mrs. Davis liked the interaction between the dancers and the backdrop the most. “I thought that was so fun, with the images on the screen and bringing the dancers in. That takes so much precision and so much timing … I loved the technical aspect of that.”
Mr. Davis agreed the timing of the choreography was impeccable. “It was perfect!” he said.
The couple was happy to gain new insights into Chinese culture through the performance. Mrs. Davis works with many Chinese students through editing curriculum materials, and she appreciated the opportunity this gave her to talk to them about genuine Chinese culture.
“This is a window into a world that they themselves haven’t experienced, because they grew up in China in the last twenty, twenty-five years. So they don’t have any sense of this,” said Mrs. Davis. “I think I’m going to have to tell them that they have to go [see the show]!”
Mr. and Mrs. Davis were also pleased to have made friends with the couple sitting next to them at the performance with whom they had been discussing how much they enjoyed Shen Yun.
Mrs. Davis said everyone should come see Shen Yun. She said it was a piece of art she couldn’t describe even after seeing dozens of performances, and she could feel the pure hearts of the dancers coming from the stage.
Mr. Davis said of the performance, “Great art puts a peace in my heart. I walk out tonight with a peace in my heart.”
Reporting by Jana Li and Sarah Le.
Shen Yun Touring Company will be at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles, Jan. 25 to 27.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture.