COSTA MESA, Calif.—“Outstanding. Absolutely outstanding,” Susan Reed raved after attending Shen Yun Performing Arts at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa.
Ms. Reed, a retired businesswoman who continues to travel internationally for business, attended the Jan. 20 Shen Yun matinee performance and enjoyed many different aspects of the production.
“Each segment of the performance maintains its level of the ancient dance, and it brings it to the modern time—it has a combination of both, which is very interesting,” she said. “The music is very historical, which we enjoyed immensely.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006 by overseas Chinese artists with a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, Shen Yun has a deep commitment to preserving the rich cultural heritage through performing arts.
According to the Shen Yun website, traditional Chinese culture is divinely inspired and traditional art forms are not only outwardly beautiful, but place emphasis on the inner goodness and spiritual cultivation of the artists.
Ms. Reed said she sensed this spirituality through the warmth and energy of the performance.
“It’s a very calming, relaxed culture. I like the embellishment of all of the colors, the feeling of the interaction with the people, the dancers, and of course, that brings it into the custom itself,” she said.
Ms. Reed brought her granddaughter, Ava, who also loved the show, particularly, the digitally animated backdrop.
“The backdrop, it’s very magical. It’s almost like you’re watching a dream, it was that well done,” said Ms. Reed. Ava chimed in, saying her favorite part was “When [the dancers] were doing the back flips.”
Challenging flips and tumbling techniques are a component of classical Chinese dance, which is one of the most expressive and comprehensive dance systems in the world.
Ms. Reed said everyone needs to experience Shen Yun.
“I think everyone is missing a fantastic opportunity if they do not come to see the show. The show is outstanding.”
Wendi Steinman, another audience member from the Sunday show, couldn’t agree more: “I will come every year, I love it. It’s fantastic—beautiful.”
“The costumes are amazing, the dances are wonderful, the singing is great, I love it. It’s really incredible!”
Ms. Steinman said that the mixture of modern technology in Shen Yun’s digital backdrops with ancient storytelling is remarkable.
“I think the creativity of the backdrop is absolutely incredible, and they’re flying out of the back screen to the stage, that’s very creative and inventive,” she said.
She said it was obvious the artists had a passion and devotion to reviving their long-cherished culture.
“I love [the dancing]. And they’re all so beautiful and creative and happy, it’s just wonderful.”
Chinese traditions say that there exists an interconnected relationship between art and society. Art both influences society and is a reflection of it. Therefore, creating uplifting, positive art, will offer audience members a healing, cathartic experience.
Ms. Steinman said that every element of Shen Yun is perfectly executed to deliver a positive experience: “The colors, the costumes, the fabrics that they’re using to make the costumes, just incredible. And the orchestra is really, really good.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale.
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
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.