VENICE, Fla.—Helen Meyers designs jewelry for a living. She uses pearls and other semi-precious stones in her creations. An expert and owner of her own company, she knows a true gem when she sees one.
But on Feb. 7, it wasn’t turquoise that caught her eye or topaz that inspired her. Instead, it was New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts, which Ms. Meyers called “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” that filled her heart.
“The show was absolutely fantastic,” she said of her Sunday afternoon experience at the Venice Performing Arts Center. “It was my dream to be able to see it.”
“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” the company website states.
The spirit and skill of the artists, the moving stories and themes, the music and the visual beauty combine to leave theatergoers feeling uplifted and inspired.
“It [Shen Yun] gives people inspiration that something 5,000 years ago is not dead, is now being revived, and people are learning some things that have been oppressed and that they were not able to see,” Ms. Meyers said.
Having spent time as a gymnast in the past, she marveled at the artistry in the dance movements. She thought it was mind-boggling that these movements have been practiced and preserved for over 5,000 years.
Chinese dance is at the heart of a Shen Yun performance. This expressive and rigorous art form is known for its flips and spins, but also for its air of gentle elegance.
“I think music and art and history all tie together, and music helps balance people,” she said of the sounds that came from the Shen Yun orchestra, which combines a Western symphony with traditional Chinese instruments like the erhu and pipa. Ms. Meyers hoped Shen Yun could inspire young people to pursue their dreams.
The lyrics from the vocal performances, she said, expressed an inner meaning and deep thought. “Brimming with deep reflection about life, these songs transcend the boundaries of race and culture, resonating with audiences the world over and inspiring hope in people’s hearts,” the Shen Yun website says.
Ms. Meyers was well-aware that Shen Yun is not allowed to tour in China. But she believed Shen Yun and its message would prevail: “The Chinese culture and people of China have not given up. They keep going on. And I think that’s indicative of humanity, through all ages and through all cultures, that we are really all one humanity.”
“Everybody should come see it,” she said of the performance.
Shen Yun will complete the Florida leg of its 2016 world tour, which includes seven Florida cities, with two evening performances in Orlando, Feb. 9 and 10.
Reporting by Edie Bassen and Adam Miller
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.
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.