MADISON, Wis.—Beauty touches everyone differently. For Chris Swift, seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time left him feeling like “a better person.”
It deepened his admiration and respect for Chinese culture to have created such beauty. “Anytime I see something beautiful, I learn something from the experience of the beauty, and more than anything this is beautiful,” he explained.
“I know that the culture goes back a long ways, and it’s a deep rich culture, but this is so beautiful, this is what I learned,” he said, having no better way to explain it.
Shen Yun, based in New York, aims to restore the semi-divine culture of ancient China, through the vehicle of classical music and dance.
Mr. Swift, a college professor of economics at Madison College, commented on the digitally animated backdrops. He explained that seeing the characters go to heaven and return—which happens when live performers jump up and their animated counterparts fly to heaven—he saw “a union of the natural and supernatural.”
And here is when he said, “I feel like that I am a better person.”
Accompanying Mr. Swift to the Overture Center for the Arts, on April 11, was teacher Elizabeth Haase.
She described the performance as “absolutely incredible, beautiful, unbelievable talent, gorgeous.”
“It was so colorful, athletic, and it was uplifting, gorgeous!” Mr. Swift said.
Shen Yun specializes in classical Chinese dance, known both for its grace and its technically demanding flips, spins and leaps. Through this dance system, Shen Yun tells stories of China’s myths, legends, and a few stories from China today.
“Just a wonderful rich history, and it’s unfortunate, some of what’s going on in the culture in China,” Ms. Haase said. One of the dances depicted the persecution of people of faith by the communist regime.
Yet the performance left Ms. Haase happy and relaxed and Mr. Swift feeling “good to be alive.”
“It was beautiful, incredible. It was one of the most marvelous things I have ever seen,” Mr. Swift said.
Reporting Stacey Tang and Sharon Kilarski
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.