CHICAGO—“It’s just been great so far,” said Araon Lebovitz of DRW Trading Group, at intermission of Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s performance at the Civic Opera House on April 5.
It was the first time the Lebovitz family saw the premier classical Chinese dance and music company.
“For 5,000 years, divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture,” states the company’s website.
Did they learn more about this culture by the time of intermission? “Yes, I would say so, and that is one of the reasons why we wanted to bring the girls,” said Mrs. Lebovitz.
“I really like it. There were good explanations in the program which was very helpful,” she explained.
Mr. Lebovitz shared that we enjoyed the visuals, saying, “I think integrating the screen to tell the stories that was really interesting. I like that.”
His wife agreed. “That was pretty cool,” she said.
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.
She was impressed with Shen Yun’s dancing, which is its own distinct dance system predating martial arts and gymnastics.
“I thought it was interesting about some of the leaping and tumbling having it’s roots in traditional dance. [This is] because it is found in so many contemporary dance repertoires also. I didn’t realize that it had such a history in Chinese culture. That was interesting,” she said.
Out of the some 20 mini-dance performances, several focus on the plight of people of faith and their experiences in modern day China.
“It was sad when that little girl didn’t get her mom back,” said one of the Lebovitz girls.
“That was sad,” replied her mother. “I cried at the end of that one, too.”
The moving story that they are referring to, Steadfast Lotus is about modern China where a mother and daughter of a spiritual meditation discipline, Falun Dafa, are torn apart, due to their persecution that has been going on for the last ten years, says the program book.
Mrs. Lebovitz studied east Asian languages and cultures in college. “So I have always been interested in it, and we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to do so with the kids because we haven’t been able to travel that far with them. This is why we came tonight because we thought this would be interesting for them.”
Reporting Catherine Wen 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.