SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Joanne McClure was among an enthusiastic, sold-out audience watching the highly celebrated Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company’s performance at The Granada Theater on March 30.
Ms. McClure, bronze sculpture artist, has had her sculptures and fine arts displayed not only in her studio-gallery, but also throughout the United States and as far away as Ethiopia. Two of her fine art posters can be seen across the globe.
Ms. McClure was impressed with every aspect of the performance. “It was beautiful, beautiful,” she said. “I like the 3D effect. And the costumes were stunning. And the dancing, gliding across the stage.”
Independent and nonprofit, New York-based Shen Yun was established in 2006 by artists from around the world with the mission of using the universal language of dance and music to revive China’s divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture, which had nearly been completely destroyed by the current regime in China over the last several decades.
At the core of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance, which is “known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Each dance uses unique costumes. “Every costume in a Shen Yun performance is presented with brilliant colors, displaying a splendid spectacle,” explains the website.
Another unique aspect of Shen Yun is the state-of-the-art digital backdrop that interacts with the dancers to create a full theatrical effect.
Ms. McClure was enchanted by the music. “The music was beautiful too. Great orchestra, the mix of instruments of both cultures,” she said.
Each dance is supported by original music played by the Shen Yun Orchestra, which blends ancient Chinese instruments, such as the erhu, pipa, and suona, with a full Western symphony orchestra.
The company’s website describes the performance, “Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture.”
Touched by the beauty of China’s deeply spiritual traditional culture, Ms. McClure said, “It’s very enlightening to experience another culture other than our own.”
She applauded the Shen Yun’s mission of “reviving the spiritual values” and “bringing them up to the modern days,” she said. “Must take some courage to do that.”
Ms. McClure said that she would recommend Shen Yun to her friends. “It is historically interesting. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know,” she said. “And I would say they need to see it to believe it.”
Reporting by Keith Yuan 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