HOUSTON—Bill Kern, a CPA, and Susan Kern, an MD who specializes in alternative medicine, celebrated the New Year with Shen Yun at the Houston Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. “It was very beautiful. I think it touched my heart deep inside,” Dr. Kern said.
“I felt a beauty and a caring about the spiritual [part] that I haven’t seen like this publicly in a very long time,” she said. “It was very emotional for me—very satisfying and very beautiful.”
“Besides the actual activity the dancers were performing, it was just perfect. I mean it was just beautiful. I was very taken with it, deeply, very deeply.”
Dr. Kern may have been responding to “principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture,” as the Shen Yun website describes their work.
“It really makes you want to care for other people and do it in a very compassionate way. It brings out love and care,” said Dr. Kern. “I think there was something about this and about the people that are connected with me deeply,” she said.
Dr. Kern enjoys and appreciates fine performing arts, and often attends ballet, she said, and “I’ve never seen some of this choreography. It was just amazing. It was very well done. There were times when I was surprised that people can do that.”
The performance gave her a new view of the people of China, she said. “I just felt something about the people in China I don’t think I’ve ever felt before. I never saw so much beauty and so much discipline too.”
Mr. Kern said that Shen Yun’s performance was inspiring and gave him a better understanding of traditional Chinese culture and history. “It’s an enriching experience. It gives you a chance to appreciate other parts of the world more,” he said.
Mr. Kern said that he was impressed. “This is the first time I’ve seen this type of performance and it’s awe-inspiring! It’s really good,” he said.
Mr. Kern noted how skillful the dancers were. “It’s very inspiring. When I was much younger, I practiced some martial arts, but what these guys do is unbelievable. They’re moving but you don’t see them move. It’s like they’re all flying around the stage. Unbelievable.” Chinese classical dance includes very challenging jumps, spins, and tumbling techniques.
He noticed and approved of the manliness of the male dancers. He also attends fine performing arts performances, and he said sometimes ballerinos do not display a masculine demeanor. “What I really appreciate is … these guys are all up rough and tough, so I’m really impressed with the male Chinese dancers. They look very masculine.”
So this is a special New Year’s Eve.
Mr. Kern was glad the family decided to see Shen Yun. “So this is a special New Year’s Eve. It’s very refreshing, very relaxing, and just unbelievable that many people can dance together and stay in sync,” he said.
Ms. Cathrine Kiki, a nurse, said she was stunned the moment the curtain came up and she “first saw the costumes and how bright and vivid everything was.”
“The women looked like they were just gliding across the floor. The guys … seemed to float all the way across the floor. It was a very stunning show,” she said.
Ms. Kiki said that she was “very touched by it.”
She said she admired the totality of the performance, and how all the components formed a whole. “The artistry was just what first stood out at me, and just amazing choreography with amazing ability to stay together—and the costumes. It was just altogether beautiful. Combined with music, it was incredible,” she said.
“I was very glad to come,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Kelly Ni.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. The Shen Yun International Company will be performing in Houston through Jan. 1. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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