PHILADELPHIA—Shen Yun Performing Arts was a refreshing and educational experience, according to Sarah Wigman, who is dancer, a teacher, and a language teacher. As an artist, she found that the traditional Chinese connection of art with wellbeing resonated with her.
Ms. Wigman felt that the evening had given her joy.
“I really thought it was interesting when they taught that the word for medicine comes from the word for music [in Chinese],” she said. “I think that the arts is a way to uplift people’s spirit and health … it can help you to be healthy and happy.”
“It was very moving,” she said after seeing the Shen Yun matinee at Merriam Theater April 25. “I’ve never been to a Chinese performance before, so I did not really know what to expect. I love live dance and live music and I really appreciated the educational aspect of this show, and how it really taught the cultural and spiritual roots of Chinese dance and music.”
Shen Yun is inspired by 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. It offers classical Chinese dance, folk dance, and a unique orchestra. It also features animated backdrops and colorful costumes.
The music in Shen Yun often invokes wonder, melding classical Chinese instruments such as the gong and dizi (bamboo flute) with classical Western instruments.
The orchestra particularly stood out to Ms. Wigman.
“It was beautiful. It was beautiful,” she said. “I liked the orchestra. I liked the traditional Chinese instruments in the orchestra. And I really loved the Chinese soloist, the musician who played the erhu. To me, that was for me the most moving part. That’s the part that almost made me cry.”
She discovered that the music is so touching that “it can open people’s hearts.”
“Cathartic,” she said. “I think that’s the beauty of live music, that I can make you feel something and move your emotions and help you feel better when you leave.”
“It was so moving. Powerful, emotional, expressive singing,” she said.
While the vocalists sing in Chinese, translations of the lyrics are shown on the backdrop along with stunning scenery. Masters of ceremonies explain the upcoming dance in both English and Chinese.
As an educator, Ms. Wigman lauded both these aspects of the performance.
She also had praise for the dancers.
“They are perfect. They are so virtuoso. So impressive, perfect.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Zachary Stieber
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.