RALEIGH, North Carolina—Charles Wilson has seen Shen Yun Performing Arts three times now.
“It is marvelous,” the retired financier said. “I think the performers themselves are absolutely magnificent. Both dancers, and the singers, and all the musicians, the costuming and staging is just superb, some [of the] finest I have ever seen.’
He was in attendance with his wife at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 11.
Mr. Wilson and his wife see a lot of shows, he said, so he speaks with some authority when he says Shen Yun is “really, really marvelous.”
Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning digitally projected back-drop make the New York-based Shen Yun the world’s leading classical Chinese dance company.
According to its website, one discovers a sea of 5,000 years of Chinese culture where mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
Mr. Wilson said, “In some cultures, you see some of the deities [are] kind of nefarious characters. But I don’t think that in Chinese culture that is necessarily the case. [Shen Yun] is very uplifting.”
With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings projected on to a large screen, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.
“I really appreciate the way that the [English] lyrics of the songs are projected on the screen. It really helps get a better understanding of what the singers are trying to convey. And the singers are all just excellent,” Mr. Wilson said. “When I come to see the show, I always look to see where they were trained. It is good to see they were trained from some prestigious institutions… I enjoyed that.”
“The primary trait that distinguishes the singers of Shen Yun is their use of bel canto technique to sing Chinese text. This means that the singer must, while continuing to meet the challenges inherent in bel canto technique, retain proper Chinese pronunciation and diction. Today, these singers’ ability to do this is unparalleled,” the website says.
“I found it to be more educational and gives a better understanding of the culture, which is probably exactly what [Shen Yun is] trying to do. It is somewhat inspirational,” Mr. Wilson said.
He said he will definitely be back to see Shen Yun next time it comes to Raleigh.
Shen Yun ‘Very informative’
Alex King, an engineer, and his wife Saber King, a project manager, were also in the audience watching Shen Yun on Jan. 11.
“I like it, it’s very creative,” Mr. King said.
Mrs. Saber said she didn’t know anything about ancient Chinese culture, but she enjoyed watching and learning from the theatrical performance unfolding in a collection of mini dramas on stage.
“It’s been very informative,” she said. “Very creative.”
Mr. King wasn’t aware that the ancient spiritual meditation system, Falun Gong, banned by the communist regime in China continues today.
“I don’t know, it was very informative, it was crazy, it’s kind of wild, I didn’t know that was going on,” he said.
Mrs. King felt sorry for the practitioners. “I felt the oppression from the performance, and the sadness,” she said. For her, Shen Yun was “informing, very energetic and very entertaining.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Thai Ton and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
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.