HOLLYWOOD, Calif.— Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company played two sold-out performances on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the world famous Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards and situated along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Cheers were heard, and audience members were seen standing in ovation, even respectfully bowing to the performers with their hands together during the afternoon curtain call.
Commercial real estate broker Don Hedgepath attended the afternoon performance. Mr. Hedgepath, who drove three hours away from the Palm Springs area to attend the performance, was seeing Shen Yun for the third time.
“Because it’s the most wonderful performance I’ve ever seen on stage,” said Mr. Hedgepath, explaining why he continues to see Shen Yun year after year.
“You just feel the emotion behind all the production,” he added. “It’s just beautiful.”
There is a reason why audience members like Mr. Hedgepath talk about feeling something from the performance.
The Shen Yun website explains: “Classical Chinese dance is rich with expressive power. Through expression of bearing and form, beautiful dance movements bring out the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings, reflecting the peculiarities of human nature, the standard for human conduct, moral concepts, mental state, one’s value system, and so on.”
Shen Yun is a New York-based, non-profit, classical Chinese music and dance company that creates an all-new production each year as it travels to over 100 cities in five continents.
‘You’ll never see anything like this anywhere else’
Marco and Lillian Maimone, co-owners of Marco’s Auto Body Inc., also attended the afternoon performance, and both had high praise for the Shen Yun performers.
Mr. Maimone described Shen Yun as unique and inspiring.
“I loved it,” Mrs. Maimone said.
Mr. Maimone, who started his company at age 19—and has since turned it into a multi-million dollar enterprise employing hundreds of workers—knows what it’s like to receive praise for exceptional work. Both he and Mrs. Maimone are recipients of Pepperdine University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.
“I was very captivated [by the performance],” said Mr. Maimone. “You’ll never see anything like this anywhere else.”
During a piece about compassion Mrs. Maimone said. “I got goose bumps.”
Mrs. Maimone was referring to a particular piece called The Power of Compassion in which Chinese citizens are persecuted for practicing Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice with ancient roots. Through their compassionate actions, even the persecutor changes his violent ways and becomes kind.
According to the company website, “Shen Yun portrays principles from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, such as compassion, propriety, justice, filial piety, and respect for the divine—values that are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
Actress Sheds Tears of Joy
Actress Karen Lorre was also among the audience members of the sold out performances on Jan. 24. Ms. Lorre has appeared in numerous television series, including NYPD Blue, X-Files, and Cheers.
For her, the Shen Yun dancers reached a heavenly level of performance.
Shen Yun’s website describes classical Chinese dance as a sacred gift from the heavens.
“Classical Chinese dance is a culture left to us by the ancients who came before us, its beauty should be riches shared by all of humanity, its purity should not be contaminated,” states the website.
Because of its mission to revive traditional Chinese culture, Shen Yun’s performances are imbued with values such as benevolence, propriety and wisdom, as well as faith in the divine.
The principles on display moved Ms. Lorre to tears. Like Mrs. Maimone, the piece The Power of Compassion moved her.
“I really liked the dance about how compassion can win out over persecution. I thought that was beautiful,” she said.
“I cried with happiness,” she said, “because I know the power of love, and when you’re in a place of love and continually loving, it can transmute anything. It’s more powerful than anything, and it was nice to see that portrayed through the dance.”
“It doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing,” she elaborated, “when you come at them with pure love, they respond much better than they normally would. It’s just beautiful.”
Another theme Ms. Lorre saw in the performance was the importance of freedom.
“I really love the idea of everyone being free to think the way they want to think, and focus the way they want to focus,” she said. “That seems very important, and I like how the show inspires that desire even more in me—that freedom. For everyone to be free.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Jane Yang, and Albert Roman
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.