COSTA MESA, Calif.—Interior designer Laura Morris attended a sold-out performance of the world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on March 16.
“I love this. Beautiful, gorgeous!” said Mrs. Morris after watching the performance with her husband, Skip, who is a retired real estate developer.
“liked it very much,” chimed in Mr. Morris. “The color, the beauty, the grace.”
Established by artists from around the world in 2006, New York-based Shen Yun is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to bringing 5,000 years of Chinese civilization to life through music and dance. It has quickly become an international sensation, with four companies simultaneously touring around the world.
According to the Shen Yun website, “A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance.”
With a background in Russian ballet, Mrs. Morris marveled at the classical Chinese dance in Shen Yun. “The dance was fabulous. It was really fabulous,” she said.
“Classical Chinese dance has its own training in basic skills, physical expression and postures, leaps, flips, spins and other difficult tumbling techniques, forming an extensive and independent dance system,” explains the website. “And so, alongside ballet, classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.”
The music and the unique Shen Yun Orchestra enchanted Mr. and Mrs. Morris. “We love the music and the grace,” said Mrs. Morris.
Another major aspect of Shen Yun is the live music, with all of the dance pieces set to original scores played by the Shen Yun Orchestra, which combines Chinese and Western instrumentation.
Shen Yun’s website explains: “The Shen Yun Orchestra masterfully blends two of the world’s greatest classical music traditions. Ancient Chinese instruments such as the soul-stirring erhu and the delicate pipa lead the melody on top of a full orchestra of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass.”
One ancient Chinese instrument in particular struck a chord with the couple: the erhu, a 4,000-year-old two-stringed instrument that conveys a wide range of emotions.
“In particular,” said Mr. Morris, “that stringed instrument, that sort of plaintive, haunting sound. … It was beautiful.”
Mrs. Morris was touched by the performance. “It was inspirational in that they talked about peace and love, and there’s a quiet thread that runs through, the peaceful thread that runs through a lot of the dance performance, and the fact that they promote love amongst people. That’s so important.”
Reporting by Flora Ge and Thanh Le
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