PORTLAND, Ore.—“It’s more than entertainment,” said Matthew Krill, a computer support specialist, after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts with his mother at Portland’s Keller Auditorium on Tuesday, April 2. “It’s something you’ll never forget,” he added.
Mr.Krill said that he saw “so much culture” presented on stage. “That was my draw—to go and experience culture. You know, 5,000 years. I mean, we’ve been a country for 200 [years]. It’s just amazing that the stories that people go through, and that we’ve all experienced as human beings and mankind—they haven’t changed a lot.
“So what I see is a kind of story, a history lesson, told in a beautiful way,” he said.
“A unique feature of Chinese civilization is that its history has been documented and passed down uninterrupted for 5,000 years, sometimes in vivid detail,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
Mr. Krill said that he was “also amazed at the amount of work that you can clearly see that’s gone into this, people who have worked a lifetime being able to do what they do.”
Shen Yun has indeed been working hard. “We started with one company, and in a few short years grew to three dance companies and three orchestras, totaling some 300 artists. Every year we tour to around 20 countries and 100 cities,” the website states.
Classical Chinese dance has its own set of training methods in basic skills, and it has strict training in both physical expression and specific postures. It is a comprehensive dance system that includes thousands of unique postures and movements, the Shen Yun’s emcees explained.
Reflecting on what he has just experienced, Mr. Krill explained, “The word ‘divine’ can mean so many things to so many people.” But he came to “the realization that as great as we are with emperors and everything, we still look somewhere else for direction and recognize that we’re kind of, maybe, small in this universe.”
And he continued to see this “nice theme” that unites all people, no matter what their religious beliefs are, throughout the whole performance. He said he realized that everything constituting human culture, including art forms and what is portrayed by the people dancing on stage for our enjoyment and pleasure, is all interconnected.
“I understood everything, and they pulled me right in, and I knew what language they were speaking—the language they were trying to deliver,” he said.
With reporting by NTD Television and Nataly Teplitsky
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.