SARASOTA, Fla.—Sarasota theatergoers couldn’t have been happier with Shen Yun Performing Arts, the premier classical Chinese dance and music company that performed at the Van Wezel Hall on April 22.
“I loved the energy,” Judy Sandt said after the performance. The retired college teacher from the University of Pittsburgh thought the energy in the performance was contagious. “I think the message of hope rings throughout the whole thing,” she said as well.
“The costumes, the choreography, the energy, the message—it’s unifying and uplifting,” she continued, sounding very much as though she were reading Shen Yun’s website.
“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” the site states. “Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
Ms. Sandt couldn’t wait to tell her husband about the show since he couldn’t attend. The couple had been in China in 2012. “We saw nothing like this in China, nothing,” she said. “This was really dynamic.”
Attending with Ms. Sandt were friends Rudy Abel, who retired from the investment industry, and the Hastings. Jim Hastings owned several Hardee’s restaurants before retirement, and his wife, Karen, had worked as an interior designer.
Mr. Abel said he thought the performance was great and especially liked the orchestra, which blended traditional Chinese instruments with Western symphonic ones. He also particularly enjoyed the choreography of the Chinese classical dances and folk dances.
Mr. Hasting complimented the digitally animated backdrops, saying, “The blend of the live dancers with the cinematography—however they worked that—was glorious.”
Mrs. Hastings, with her experience in design, felt “the costumes were fabulous.” “I loved the dancing,” she added. “My granddaughter would have loved the dancing.”
As to the deeper message that left Ms. Sandt inspired—a message of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance— Mrs. Hastings said, “We need all of that now. We need all of that.”
Reporting by Edie Bassen 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