A Heavenly Way to Ring In the New Year With Shen Yun
A Heavenly Way to Ring In the New Year With Shen Yun

HOUSTON—It was a fine way to start the New Year. When the curtain opened at the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts on Jan. 1, George Alberto’s heart started pounding fast with excitement.

Shen Yun Performing Arts has been touring the country with its mission of reviving 5,000 years of China’s divinely inspired culture for several years. Mr. Alberto, a graphic designer, had never experienced seeing anything like it before.

“What happened was, I felt as if I had flown to heaven,” Mr. Alberto said. “I cannot explain it, but it was a great thing.”

Other audience members also could not find the words to fully describe how they felt, like Emilio Alberto, a technical computer analyst at Houston Methodist.

“It’s kind of hard to explain … The beauty of it, the design of the outfits, and the style of the dance, it is all very inspiring,” he said.

Another man drove four hours from Corpus Christy, Tex. and brought seven friends and family members with him to share the experience.

Jenny Vuong loved Shen Yun Performing Arts at Houston's Jones Hall, on Jan. 1, 2016. (Sonia Wu/Epoch Times)
Jenny Vuong loved Shen Yun Performing Arts at Houston’s Jones Hall, on Jan. 1, 2016. (Sonia Wu/Epoch Times)

A Vietnamese artist, Jenny Vuong, who has family in Europe—in France, Austria, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland—gets to travel a lot. Any time she has the chance, she makes sure to see Shen Yun. The performance in Houston was her fifth time.

“Every year it’s a different show with different techniques … The whole show is amazing, awesome, and gorgeous. I loved it,” she said.

Shen Yun’s orchestra is perfectly in sync, and the dancers interact seamlessly with the animated digital backdrop that extends the stage and transports the audience to other realms, according to the website. The landscapes show China’s vast geography, society, regions, and dynasties. The animated screen also depicts fairies, lofty clouds, and palaces giving a glimpse of a Buddhist paradise.

“Actually when the screen shows a Buddha, you feel like the Buddha and everything is real and alive,” Ms. Vuong said. “Anytime when the Buddha came up, I felt like I want to be in heaven, love it,” she added.

Developed over thousands of years from every dynasty, traditional Chinese dance carries rich inner meanings, and endless possibilities. As one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world, other forms derive from it.

Susana and Gustavo Rios enjoy Shen Yun Performing Arts at Houston's Jones Hall, on Jan. 1, 2016. (Sarah Guo/Epoch Times)
Susana and Gustavo Rios enjoy Shen Yun Performing Arts at Houston’s Jones Hall, on Jan. 1, 2016. (Sarah Guo/Epoch Times)

Susana Rios, an art gallery owner, was impressed by the rich history of traditional Chinese dance. She discovered that the tumbling techniques originated from Chinese dance and martial arts, which gave birth to gymnastics.

“I learned a lot about the culture and where the dances come from and the history of the dance,” she said. Her husband, Gustavo Rios, was also impressed.

“It gives you hope and it inspires you to be kind,” he said about the dances and the songs. Susana chimed in, “You come from heaven and hopefully you go back to heaven.”

Reporting by Sherry Dong and Milene Fernandez

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.

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.

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