ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Johnny Green, who produces shows at the Mahaffey Theater, said he wanted to see Shen Yun when the company performed at the theater in May 2012 but wasn’t able to attend because of his schedule.
This time, Mr. Green and a family friend were able to see Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company, one of New York-based Shen Yun’s three touring companies, at the Mahaffey Theater on April 27.
He said the performance was totally worth seeing: “The whole production—and I’m 40 years in the music business and the entertainment business—is amazing.”
Shen Yun is different from any other performance, he said. “The orchestra, the timing of every note to match what’s happening with the dancers and the video—it’s beyond amazing.”
He was referring to the animated digital backdrops that extend the stage and transport the audience to other times and places. Backdrops include heavenly scenes, lush forests, Himalayan peaks, elegant palaces, and picturesque landscapes.
“These digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance: the characters, color of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects,” the Shen Yun website states.
Mr. Green said he learned a lot about Chinese history and culture, including the persecution of freedom of belief, a theme that is portrayed in two story-based dances.
The stories are set in contemporary China, where the communist regime persecutes practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional self-cultivation practice that gained widespread popularity in China after its introduction to the public in 1992.
The performers did “way beyond a good job,” Mr. Green said. “More than amazing—outstanding. This is a beautiful way to learn something. To be entertained and educated at the same time is a wonderful thing.”
Mr. Green said he’d come again next year and would bring more people. He would tell his friends, “Don’t miss it the next time it comes through.”
Reporting by Vivian Shao and Louise Rothman
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.