COSTA MESA, Calif.–World international standard formation champion Kasia Rynkiewcz was counting along with the music while watching Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 17. “I wanted to see how precise they are with the music. There was no glitch. They all are very synchronized. They are really top notch.”
Ms. Rynkiewcz is a professional ballroom dance instructor. She said she was very impressed with the Shen Yun dancers. “My background is in formation, so I do appreciate all the formation dancers. You cannot help but look at the Shen Yun performance in a more professional way. I saw how synchronized they were, and the extension in their movements. Definitely, there is extraordinary talent on the stage. I really, really loved it!”
Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts is premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Classical Chinese dance is grounded in 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture, and is an art form built upon a deep foundation of traditional aesthetics. Classical Chinese dance is rich with expressive power.
She also enjoyed the cultural aspects of the show. “It’s wonderful to learn about the culture and a little bit more about what the country’s going through.”
She continued, “and the lyrics are very thoughtful and very deep. The music is also really deep and expressive.”
Ms. Rynkiewcz was grateful for the opportunity to watch Shen Yun. She said, “I’m so happy I was able to get my tickets for tonight. I think that everyone has to see this show and open their mind and heart for different cultures.”
Former Dancer Connects With ‘Purity and Spirit’
Also enthralled by the Shen Yun performance was Chantal Nugent, who had wanted to watch Shen Yun for three years and finally this year, she was given a surprise birthday present to watch the performance at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. “I am very, very happy to be here. I love the fluidity [of the dancers].”
Ms. Nugent was a dancer and is currently pursuing an acting career. She particularly appreciated the spiritual underpinnings of the Shen Yun performance. “Each dance has a very spiritual message … the Buddha, the divine connection through the dancers, and also the empowerment, the compassion.”
Ms. Nugent felt a special connection with the last program, “Hope for the Future.”
She said, “The last one, I can’t put my words to it, but it was of pure spirit.”
“I felt that we can do this altogether and we’re here for a greater good on earth. And we need to pass it on to other people who don’t see it because they’re not awakened. It’s enlightenment, especially at the end, with the ring around the Buddha. I connected with the purity and the spirit.”
“I saw self-empowerment and compassion; I saw the good of people.”
In addition to classical Chinese dance and folk dance, Shen Yun also features vocalists, who use the traditional bel canto technique to sing Chinese text. The lyrics are original works brimming with philosophical reflection about human life. Ms. Nugent thought that the lyrics were “something that we people need to hear.”
Ms. Nugent loved the traditional Chinese instrument, erhu. In ancient China, people considered music a form of medicine. Ms. Nugent said the healing power of good music could be felt in the erhu virtuoso’s performance. “When she played, I felt it. It was very meditative.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts tours to over 100 cities each year presenting authentic traditional Chinese culture to audience members of all races and backgrounds. However, it is not allowed to perform in China. “It’s actually really heartbreaking that people cannot see this in China. So we need to bring more awareness … for the greater good of people.” Ms. Nugent hopes that the message of compassion can reach more people.
For those who have not watched Shen Yun, Ms. Nugent gave this advice, “Sit down, be still, and accept it all. Just take it in.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Sophia Fang
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.