PORTLAND, Ore.—Shen Yun Performing Arts’ grand spectacle at the Keller Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 18, gave Wanda and Miguel Rodriguez a new perspective on dance and Chinese culture.
Visiting Portland to see their son, the retired university professors from Puerto Rico recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, and the tickets to Shen Yun were a gift from their son.
Mr. Rodriguez, formerly a professor of economics, said that Shen Yun was wonderful.
His wife, who was a professor of psychology, added: “It’s a rich culture and we have read [about it] and visited China. But we are always fascinated by the dancing.”
“I loved the dancing,” she said.
Classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance forms in the world, and its techniques are also one of the most difficult to execute. Its jumps and flips were later adopted by other disciplines, becoming what people know today as gymnastics and acrobatics.
The couple was in awe at the “wonderful combination” of the technology, music, and dance.
They were also impressed by Shen Yun’s classical vocalists, who sing in the highly technical bel canto style.
The resounding voices of the soloists are an integral part of the Shen Yun experience. Each program is heightened by several moving selections from its singers, whose impassioned songs give voice to hopes that have shaped Chinese culture for centuries, explains the Shen Yun website.
Shen Yun’s one-of-a-kind orchestra masterfully blends two of the world’s greatest classical music traditions, Chinese and Western. “The orchestra was really, really good,” said Mrs. Rodriguez.
But what really stood out for the couple was the spiritual aspect of the performance.
Mrs. Rodriguez said, “I think that if you have to pick a common theme through all the history—the stories that were told—it’s spirituality that’s the main narrative.”
“The force of the spirit is really strong,” she added. “And I think that the idea of transcendency—that there is … something more than our own selves—it’s the main thing.”
“And the music was really powerful in communicating that idea.”
Reporting by Echo Lau and Nataly Teplitsky
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.