PORTLAND, Ore.-Retired local government workers Robert and Cynthia Stadel appreciated the sharing of Chinese traditional culture and beliefs at Portland’s Keller Auditorium, on Jan. 17.
“I always value the cross-cultural understanding and understanding where people are coming from. And sharing belief systems and cultures is really important to me,” Mrs. Stadel said.
The blending of Eastern and Western instruments was also enjoyed by the couple; Mr. Stradel especially noted the uniqueness of the combination. “Very nice,” he said.
The Shen Yun Orchestra masterfully blends two of the world’s greatest classical music traditions: the beauty and distinctiveness of Chinese music with the grandeur and precision of Western orchestration.
“We are all aware of some of the historical effects, but we also don’t realize that the Chinese culture is so old compared to our culture here,” Mr. Stradel added.
Indeed, for 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China. “Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture,” reads the Shen Yun website.
Mrs. Stadel was also touched by Shen Yun’s wondrous depiction of classical Chinese dance. “Incredible dancing and choreography, amazing choreography,” she said.
“It was lovely,” she concluded.
Also in the audience was Margaret Rekow, who shared a once in a lifetime experience with her granddaughter Anna Rekow through Shen Yun as they were taken on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture.
“The first word that comes to my mind is beauty—an opening of my eyes as to the culture and the history,” said Mrs. Rekow. “It elevates you, kind of takes you to a different place.”
The young Ms. Rekow shared a similar impression, and she was amazed at the dance choreography that kept the stage in constant movement. “There’s just so much going on. And anyone who wanted to go they should come. I’d say they should probably come because it’s an amazing experience,” she said.
Both Mrs. And Ms. Rekow appreciated the education of traditional Chinese culture and history, as Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today, where traditional culture has been nearly lost.
“What’s happening today [in China], like I said there was so much to take in. It makes me want to learn more, though. I would like to come back next year, and I want to keep learning,” Mrs. Rekow said.
The young Ms. Rekow noted Shen Yun’s portrayal of contemporary China today as practitioners of the traditional spiritual discipline Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, have been persecuted for over a decade.
“I learned that you’d expect them to be able to practice [Falun Dafa] in China; it’s kind of weird that they can’t—they’re not allowed to; they can only practice it in free countries,” she said.
“Even though there are a lot of serious topics, there was that fun part of it, too,” added Mrs. Rekow. “It made me thankful that I was able to be here and experience this with a very special granddaughter, so very thankful.”
Reporting by Chen Si and Lauren Morency DePhillips
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.