CHICAGO—Eva Lauterbach brought two guests, Bill and Sandy Boland, to see Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company at the Civic Opera House on April 5. At intermission everyone was in awe of the performance. And, Mr. Boland was curious to know about the dancers’ timing with their wardrobe changes.
“I was very impressed. I’ve never seen anything quite so spectacular. The costumes just were unbelievable,” he said about Shen Yun. “I have a question: Are there two groups of women and the other group are changing costumes?”
“Because the costumes are so elaborate I can’t imagine how they’re changing so fast,” explained his wife. “They’re beautiful. The colors are gorgeous.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of divinely-inspired Chinese culture through dance-based storytelling of beloved myths, legends, and ancient history.
Ms. Boland, a bank manager at Parkway Bank, was moved by the dazzling colors and dancers of the performance. “Colors, definitely. And, what I was amazed with, because I’ve never seen a program like this before, is how they move their feet, the dancers. I was amazed with that right away.”
The colors made her feel very happy. “I love them. I just think they’re beautiful, you know colors that I would never put together. They’re gorgeous.” she said.
Being an owner and architect for Boland and Associates, he found the performance to be inspiring. “Oh yes, a lot of inspiration. Chinese architecture, the background showing the buildings, is something that interests me.”
Ms. Lauterbach, who acts as a translator occasionally, said, “I greatly admire China. I just came back from there. This artistry is wonderful, very, very good. I hope they can go to many countries.”
She also commented on the costumes, saying, they were “really unbelievable. They put the silks to full show. You could really tell they had silks.”
Shen Yun is based in New York, thus having the freedom of artistic and spiritual expression. This is not so in China where they are prohibited from performing.
Yet last season Shen Yun completed 354 performances in 106 cities with their mission to revitalize this almost lost culture.
“How inspirational it is,” replied Ms. Boland. “It makes you stop and think about the simple things in life. That’s what I felt anyway, just from reading the program and listening to the other people talking. They just think of the simple things in life and how important it is.
“It’s very inspiring,” she elaborated further: “It makes you stop and think what’s really important in the world and in life and there’s always tomorrow.”
The Bolands’ curiosity was about the costume changes while Ms. Lauterbach’s was about the stories’ origins: “Oh yes, I want to read, and I want to see where the stories came from.”
After the performance, Ms. Lauterbach was still in awe by what she had seen and wrote to the reporter with the following comments:
“Having recently returned from a trip to Asia, including China, with great respect and admiration for the artistic ability of people in those countries, yesterday’s performance at the Chicago Opera House was a new, stirring experience.
“Shen Yun’s performance celebrated odes to the human spirit with complete grace by masterfully synchronized movements of the dancers’ bodies, enhanced by wafting clouds of mostly airy silk, all this before grandiose backdrops of authentically reproduced Chinese scenery, supported by pleasing orchestral sound.”
She continued: a “stirring experience, for sure, helped by brief announcements of each following story which now encourages further research to better understand its content.
“This performance was a window opened to the soul of Chinese people not readily granted elsewhere.
My sincere thanks to Shen Yun … so that we may see another side of China.”
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Cat Rooney
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.