ESCONDIDO,Calif.—Kent Brown, a professional golfer, found the show extremely unique. “ I find it very interesting, very beautiful,” said Mr. Brown after attending Shen Yun’s on Monday, Dec. 31 at the California Center for the Arts.
“It’s very different than what we’re used to seeing here in the United States,” he said. Mr. Brown’s involvement in professional golf requires exceptional training and focus, which he could also see in the performers.
One of Shen Yun’s primary goals is to revive China’s 5,000 years of culture. After more than 60 years of communist rule in China, and especially during the Cultural Revolution, traditional Chinese culture has been all but wiped out.
Mr. Brown said that he was especially interested in the monks who were fighting. “I like the Buddhist monk fight, when they are fighting in the monastery,” he said. He also appreciated the lighter side and the athleticism of the dancers. “There was a little humor, which was fun to see some of it—not quite so serious,” he said.
“But the dancing was wonderful, all the bodies are so well conditioned and flexible even the guy could kick his head. It’s not something I do very easily.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Every year, Shen Yun unveils an entirely new lineup of dances, songs, and musical scores. At the core of Shen Yun’s performances is classical Chinese dance with China’s numerous ethnic and folk dance styles rounding out the evening.”
Mr. Brown added, “We all know that China has a wonderful and very colorful past, more than any other country in the world. So we were exposed to a little bit of that [today].”
As for the music, he passionately exclaimed, “wonderful, beautiful. Beautiful! Very lyrical. It’s not too harsh. It’s comfortable.”
Taking in the show with Mr. Brown, Cathy, who is a professional artist, also enjoyed the rich music., “It’s lovely to have a live orchestra,” she said.
For some years now, most major shows have come to rely on electronically produced or recorded music. The show’s program explains the uniqueness of the Shen Yun Orchestra: “The full, classical Western orchestra provides energy and grandeur, while the Chinese instruments bring out the distinct touch of millennia-old Chinese culture.”
Being a professional artist, Cathy especially liked the stage sets, backgrounds, and costumes. “I love the graphics, graphics design, videography,” she said. “Very exciting, very dynamic. And the costuming: I like the costuming and the colors.”
Cathy then added, “I love how everything flows, and I love the longs sleeves—how they become the scarves.” She also loved the solos, “Beautiful. Very, very beautiful. Very well trained. Definitely trained.”
Because most people in the West have little knowledge of China’s ancient legends and stories, Cathy and Mr. Brown really appreciated the explanations by the emcees before each performance.
Reporting by Lu Rusong.
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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