COSTA MESA, Calif.—The colors, design, and tradition in Shen Yun Performing Arts all caught the attention of Mr. Stanley Dehrens.
The artists of Shen Yun—a New York-based company totaling some 300 artists— make sure the aesthetics, design, inner spirit and story all work together like brush strokes of a painting, each a part of the whole experience. The result leaves audience members around the world in awe.
Mr. Dehrens could clearly see that focus: “I love the balance of the design of the choreography. I think that was excellent.”
Mr. Dehrens, a semi-retired investment banker who saw the performance on Saturday night at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, said he was moved by both the fantasy and the historical context of Shen Yun.
Shen Yun’s artistic creators include designers, choreographers, and technical experts. Their creation encompasses a performance of dozens of dancers who perform classical Chinese dance, as well as ethnic and folk dance, adorned with handmade costumes, accompanied by a live orchestra, and accentuated by digital backdrops.
The creators take painstaking effort to be true to genuine, traditional Chinese dance, so that this priceless art will be preserved forever. In their quest to protect their divine heritage, Shen Yun dives into the legends of its grand 5000 year history, which often reveals heroic tales of faith and the inner beauty of Asian religions, such as Buddhism and Taoism, and illustrates the universal Chinese values of truth, compassion and tolerance.
The Shen Yun Orchestra, a unique ensemble of both Chinese and Western instruments, also grabbed Mr. Dehren’s praise: “I love the music, it’s wonderful and the orchestra is great.”
Interwoven through a series of short dance pieces ranging in length up to ten minutes is a story of the birth of Chinese civilization to a potential destructive moment. The last piece touches upon a battle of good and evil, “an enduring theme in all cultures,” according to Shen Yun’s program book. At a key juncture, divine intervention assists spiritual believers against suppressors.
“You have to have that dream of hope, even if you have disaster,” said Mr. Dehrens. “You’ve got to build with what you’ve got and believe in yourself. The concept should show hope.”
With its pure intention to salvage and preserve the lost traditions of China and to uplift all of its audience members with traditional virtues and stories of heroism and goodness, it is no surprise that people around the world, from all cultures and nations have embraced Shen Yun’s message of hope and kindness.
Reporting by Flora Ge and Albert Roman.
Shen Yun Performing Arts will perform at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Jan. 20, then to Thousand Oaks at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Jan. 22 and 23, and finally to downtown Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Jan. 25 through 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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