LOS ANGELES—For three long years Kim Pollard and her mother Pauline Lein had been waiting to spend an evening enjoying Shen Yun Performing Arts. Finally on April 23, their evening arrived!
Ms. Pollard and her mother are both artists. Ms. Pollard is a painter and an interior designer for Restoration Hardware. Ms. Lein also paints, using oil paint as her medium.
Oil painting is a very ancient form of painting. It was first used for Buddhist paintings by Indian and Chinese painters in western Afghanistan. It is estimated to have been sometime between the fifth and tenth centuries that it was used. It didn’t gain popularity in the West until the 15th century.
As artists the ladies were mesmerized by the harmony and beauty of Shen Yun.
“I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. The dancers look angelic. It’s really quite stunning,” said Ms. Pollard.
“I’ve been looking forward to this. I’ve been meaning to come out for three years now. I’m so excited to finally be able to be here and see it,” she said enthusiastically.
Ms. Lein said, “It’s so beautiful. I really am happy that I was able to come and enjoy it with my daughter!”
Seeing Beauty in Life Changes You
“Today, Shen Yun’s artists—dancers, musicians, choreographers, composers, and the entire team—follow the noble tradition of looking to the divine for inspiration. For them, this spiritual connection is motivation for striving to excel, is the heart behind each movement of the dancer and each note of the musician. It is why audiences can feel there is something different about Shen Yun. Their source of inspiration, rooted in traditional Chinese culture, is the spiritual discipline known as Falun Dafa,” Shen Yun’s website states.
The beauty Shen Yun produces goes beyond art and becomes an expression of the divine that brings inspiration to the audience.
“I think seeing beauty in life changes you. I think it changes you profoundly and it changes you for the rest of your life,” Ms. Pollard added.
“When you experience beauty in a performance like this, for me personally, it makes me want to paint, it makes me want to write, it makes me want to pursue all these other things that I put off,” she said.
Before Ms. Pollard came to see Shen Yun she had heard about the power to change people that often happens through experiencing the performance. The story of change came from a friend of Ms. Pollard’s who had seen Shen Yun with her son.
“The first time someone told me about this show, she was inviting people to come in and she said she invited her teenage son to come. And what she shared with me was that he was a typical young man, you know, chip on his shoulder,” she said.
Sharing more of the touching story, she added, “She said that honestly bringing him to see this performance softened him. That he was emotionally moved during it. She saw a change in him.”
“I just thought that was so amazing for a mother to see her son, who’s a young man trying to become a man, bring him to see something beautiful and soft and delicate. For her to see him, not trying to be a tough guy, like young men do, but for him to connect with a softer [side] … [and gain] more appreciation of the arts. It really piqued my interest to want to be here,” she concluded.
Chiming in Ms. Lein said, “I am very impressed. It has been very emotional for me, because it just shows with hard work, all of us can improve by seeing this to inspire us. And try to better our lives and to better other people’s lives.”
She believes Shen Yun can provide a blueprint for affecting people’s lives here, and in heaven.
It’s Not Like Anything I’ve Seen!
“Since ancient times, China has been known as the ‘Celestial Empire.’ This refers not only to China’s strength and position as East Asia’s Middle Kingdom, it also captures a more profound meaning, describing a land where the divine and mortal once coexisted. It refers to the belief that the divine, through various dynasties, transmitted a rich and abundant culture to the Chinese people,” says Shen Yun’s website.
This culture is transmitted through every vignette. Bringing to life the rich sea of traditional culture, which was interwoven with and inspired by the connection to the divine.
With a smile in her voice, Ms. Pollard said, “It’s not like anything I’ve seen with any other performance somewhere else!”
“The costumes, the colors were amazing. I think it’s transformative, … the grace, it reminds me of dancing with silks … it’s such a fantasy to see,” she added,” It’s gorgeous!”
The music was so lovely it made Ms. Pollard forget about the world outside the theater.
“I think it’s lovely. It’s very meditative,” she said.
The spirituality really struck home for Ms. Pollard, and Ms. Lein.
“I think that’s part of what makes us human is to connect with the belief in a soul and a higher power,” she added. “I love that aspect of the performance!”
Ms. Lein is as inspired as her daughter. “The music it’s very inspiring. We’ll try our best to do the same as these people, these wonderful people performing like this and making it such a wonderful evening for everyone!”
Reporting by Michael Ye and Cheryl Casati
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.