COSTA MESA, Calif.—Katherine Sartori, a novelist of the recently published, The Chosen Shell was among those enchanted by the color and splendor of Shen Yun Performing Arts at Segerstrom Center for the Arts over the warm holiday weekend.
“I loved it,” said Ms. Sartori. “It was fantastic.”
Shen Yun, based in New York, transports audiences throughout space and time in China, reviving the divinely inspired, 5,000 year old Chinese culture, according to the company’s website.
After decades of communist rule, the ancient culture was all but demolished. But a group of overseas artists formed Shen Yun to revive the culture and all of its virtues, “such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution,” according to Shen Yun’s website. “Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
“I didn’t realize how much of religion and moral values were going to be incorporated into the performance, but I really loved that,” said Ms. Sartori.
In Shen Yun’s performance, a core of classical Chinese dance is accentuated by an orchestra that deftly melds East and West and digital backdrops.
Ms. Sartori found the backdrops amazing, particularly when characters on the screen appear to seamlessly become dancers through precise coordination between the technical staff and the dancers.
She also enjoyed the handmade costumes, saying “they were just gorgeous.”
Shen Yun’s dance pieces, less than ten minutes each, “draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day,” according to the company’s website.
As a writer, Ms. Sartori appreciated the stories.
“I really enjoyed how the stories intermingled with the dancers,” she said.
The scenes in the backdrops connected well with the dances, she said, evoking “very inspiring feelings about life,” and “how we should treat each other,” said Ms. Sartori. “Sometimes entertainment today does not inspire you, and this performance was very inspiring.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Masha Savitz.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform in Thousand Oaks at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Jan. 22 and 23, and downtown Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Jan. 25 through 27. Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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