SAN DIEGO—Diane Williams, a hay contractor in Brawley, in the Imperial Valley, California, attended the performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts playing at the San Diego Civic Theatre on Dec. 27, with a group of friends. “We’re a group of 10 friends that are here from Brawley. It’s a two hour drive [133 miles one way], and we just came over to enjoy the theater together.”
“We’re just really enjoying the show,” Ms. Williams said at intermission. “It’s beautiful, the costumes are amazing … The music’s beautiful, the storylines are incredible, and really beautifully done.”
What impressed her most was the syncronization of the animated backdrops melding into the dancers. She said: “I absolutely love the timing of the dance. They have the screen in the back that’s animated, and the way the dancers just disappear into the screen, and the screen takes over … I think that’s incredible, absolutely beautiful.” The Shen Yun website explains: “Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience.”
“Their grace, their steps, the way they literally float onto the stage is amazing. We’ve really enjoyed it. It’s beautiful,” she added.
Accompanying Ms. William was her best friend, Ms. Carrie Woodland, a former California State Controller, now involved in the Green energy business, is hoping to build geothermal power plants in the Middle East. She is also involved in charity work for women and children in Jordan, where she lives for half the year.
Ms. Woodland was particularly impressed with the Shen Yun solo vocalists: “What I love is the vocalist. She’s amazing!” Shen Yun vocalists’ sing the genuine bel canto tenor and soprano technique. Shen Yun has closely studied tenor and soprano singing technique, and has a grasp of this technique and how to teach it. It has truly solved the technical limitations of singing in high registers, according to the Shen Yun website.
The soloists sing in Chinese and the lyrics are projected onto the backdrop in English so the audience can understand what is being sung. Ms. Woodland said, “I read what she was singing, it was beautiful!”
Summarizing her experience, Ms. Woodland said: “I think it’s a universal humanitarian message for everybody. It’s beautiful, because we don’t know. We’re from here, we don’t know anything about the Chinese people, so it’s educational for us to understand the philosophy behind [their] culture.”
Reporting by Sally Sun and Robin Kemker.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will be heading to Escondido for performances at the California Center for the Arts from Dec. 28 to 31.
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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