RALEIGH, North Carolina—When the curtain rose at the iconic Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 11, Judge Jack Lewis had never seen anything more beautiful.
“I really liked the Tang Ladies Ladies of the Tang Palace—that dance and the outfits, their dresses. I’ve never seen a more beautiful arrangement,” he said. Mr. Lewis had suggested to his fiancé, lawyer Peg O’Donnell, that some of the colorful gowns might be just the thing for a wedding.
Ms. O’Donnell liked the idea, except that the sweeping sleeves exemplifying the Tang dynasty might be “a little long,” she said.
Mr. Lewis enjoyed everything about the New York-based Shen Yun—world class dancers, bel canto style singers, a full orchestra blending East and West compositions, the exquisitely handmade costumes, and digital backdrop scenes.
“Magnificent, really splendid,” Mr. Lewis said, especially appreciating the scenery displayed on a large backdrop projector screen, while recalling his time spent in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan from his service in the United States Navy
“The dancing and the precision of it all, it’s just elegant. I’ve never seen anything that was more beautiful or done to more perfection,” he said.
“I love it,” added Ms. O’Donnell. “I think it’s just beautiful. And I think the participants—the dancers and the singers—have the most beautiful faces. I do have glasses, so I can see the faces: And they’re just beautiful. Costuming—exquisite costuming.
“But the talent is just wonderful.”
Ms. O’Donnell noted that the spiritual element imbedded in the performance was one she never fully grasped, until now.
“I think the joy of the dance, the message of the divine, and the creator: It’s not one I really understand, but I do understand it. The premise of it is universal,” she said. “The costumes are magnificent. All the dancers are so beautiful. The dancing is so beautiful, and it’s just very joyous.”
Shen Yun: Discipline, Spirit, Excellent
Elizabeth Johnson, a retired teacher, thought Shen Yun was “excellent.”
She attended with her daughter, who owns her own coaching business that helps other entrepreneurs get started.
“I think it’s really colorful, and I really like learning about the culture infused with the dance, and the stories, and the colors,” Ms. Johnson’s daughter said.
She added that she was most impressed by the discipline of the dancers.
“It looks like it’s a very difficult technique of dancing that they use,” she said. “The tumbling plus the dancing, and it’s a very disciplined style. And that has impressed me the most.”
She was also touched by the spiritual connection.
“There’s definitely a connection. I think that it’s more obvious in the two songs that have been sung, because you know what they’re saying when you see the English translation. I probably wouldn’t know that unless I had seen the English translation of the words of the song.”
“Oh, I think it’s excellent,” concluded Ms. Johnson.
Reporting by Gao Fei and Raiatea Tanaha-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.