CHICAGO—Friday evening, April 4, the night was chilly and the sky was cloudy over Chicago as Shen Yun opened at the Civic Opera House, warmly ushering in a weekend lineup of performances.
Dr. Ashira Johnson, emergency medicine specialist, took a night off from the hustle of emergency medical care to visit Shen Yun and witness tradition Chinese dance and culture.
Shen Yun aspires to bring to life the 5,000 years of its traditional culture through the performing arts. Chinese classical dance is the foundation, but it builds upon that with symphonic music and and backdrops of beautiful artistry.
“Oh, it was absolutely beautiful, spectacular,” commented Dr. Johnson. “We particularly liked the opera and we actually wish there was even more singing. The woman who did the opera was absolutely fantastic and it really moved my heart.”
Dr. Johnson was accompanied by Katia Litvinova, who also had a few things to say about the performance.
“I loved the opera part!” exclaimed Ms. Litvinova. “I loved the way that femininity was portrayed through the female pieces, that was probably my highlight.”
She loved the second opera soloist who sang bel canto style in Chinese lyrics—”One of the most difficult singing styles to master in the world. Original Shen Yun compositions, each song contains reflections on the origin and meaning of life, says the Shen Yun website.
“The colors, the dedication of the actors, the dancers, the precision of their movements, but above all the singing, and the opera was amazing,” added Dr. Johnson.
“I like the elegance most, as well the lighting and as well as the stories,” added Ms. Litvinova.
Due to internet blockades and China’s rigid media standpoint, much information regarding the current situation in China doesn’t reach America. Particularly, the persecution of People of faith and other human rights violations.
“Inspiration for the Chinese people and what they have to overcome and how Americans here really don’t know what’s going on over there,” commented Dr. Johnson, when asked about her feelings regarding the show.
“I learned a lot more about the Chinese culture just through the subtle, non-verbal communication and yes, it was also just very inspiring,” added Ms. Litvinova.
Together with the cultural elements of Shen Yun, some audience members come away with a sense that Shen Yun represents a deep spiritual heritage among traditional Chinese cultures, stories, and beliefs.
“We understood the spirituality because of the interpretations that they gave us along with it … very moving,” continued Dr. Johnson.
“I would say I saw not too strong a spiritual conveyance through the different pieces, but just a general sense of, like a higher power and spirituality,” added Ms. Litvinova.
Reporting by Teresa You and Paul Darin
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