PORTLAND, Ore.—Richard and Irene Dumas watched Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Keller Auditorium in Portland on Jan. 18. “I was just blown away by the colors,” said Mr. Dumas, a retired pilot. “The performance is amazing.”
Mrs. Dumas, a lawyer’s assistant, was also enthused. “It was excellent. I have seen a lot of professional ballets in New York City, in Phoenix and elsewhere, and this is a different type of [dance], but it was very invigorating.”
Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years, passed down continuously within the imperial palace and ancient Chinese theater and opera. Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.
Mr. Dumas also praised the orchestra. The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s original compositions are performed by a classical Western orchestra combined with several traditional Chinese instruments—something unique in the world of music.
“It was wonderful, I enjoyed it,” he said.
“The orchestra was superb and it was so entertaining. It’s beautiful, just beautiful,” added Mrs. Dumas.
Mrs. Dumas also enjoyed Shen Yun’s mini-drama pieces that draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history, from the Yellow Emperor to the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day.
“I love the way they wove storytelling in and Chinese traditional stories into the performance. I think that’s what made it the most enjoyable,” she said.
According to Shen Yun website, “A unique feature of Chinese civilization is that its history has been documented and passed down uninterrupted for 5,000 years, sometimes in vivid detail. This provides Shen Yun with vast source material, making it possible to revive this ancient culture on a present-day stage.”
“It was interesting to see,” said Mr. Dumas. ”The ancientness of it … and just amazing history.”
Though Shen Yun cannot be seen in China at this time, Mrs. Dumas expressed that it was good that people elsewhere can see the performance. “I can imagine that it’s very nostalgic for a lot of Chinese people,” she said.
Contemplating on the deeper message that Shen Yun brings, Mrs. Dumas said she found a very interesting philosophy that parallels her beliefs.
“I myself am Christian, but I was telling my husband that I see a thread where all people believe we have divine creators, and that we’re sent here to help each other to find the way,” she said.
“So just the underlying message I think is universal of love, and truth, and harmony.”
Reporting by Lauren Morency Dephillips 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.