HONOLULU, Hawaii—Oftentimes, audience members of a Shen Yun performance are on the receiving end of a gift—perhaps a birthday gift, or one for an anniversary, or simply a gift one buys for oneself.
Lisa Huang, however, representing her family of 10 that attended Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company at Blaisdell Concert Hall May 7, brought a crate of gifts for Shen Yun performers.
“It was a family dream of ours to always come to this together. And finally this year it worked out that we could come,” Mrs. Huang said. Her family owns several businesses, and they gave the gifts “as a show of appreciation from our family and our businesses.”
“It means a lot to us to have my in-laws and my children and us together as a family to see this show, and to enjoy it, and so we wanted to give something back—a token of our appreciation,” she said.
Mrs. Huang, a fourth-generation Japanese Hawaiian, said that it’s the tradition of both her culture and that of her Taiwanese husband to offer gifts as a form of appreciation.
“We call this omiyage. And it’s just because we appreciate [Shen Yun], we want to give something, and we thought these chocolates are what lots of people like to take home with them when they travel here. We thought your performers would like this,” she said.
Shen Yun is a non-profit, New York-based classical Chinese music and dance company that tours the world six months of the year.
The Shen Yun website explains, “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. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
Mrs. Huang was highly enthusiastic about the performance.
“It was fabulous,” she said. “It was heart-warming. There aren’t words to express—it was really, really, amazing. Really amazing.”
Experiencing Shen Yun live seemed to be powerful for Mrs. Huang.
“It was more than what we imagined or expected,” she said.
She said that her family wanted to see Shen Yun after receiving promotional mailers to their homes.
“It’s just so much more fabulous than on print. And everything, everything was wonderful,” she said.
One major feature of Shen Yun is its vocal soloists, who distinguish themselves by using the bel canto technique to sing Chinese text.
“This means that the singer must, while continuing to meet the challenges inherent in bel canto technique, retain proper Chinese pronunciation and diction. Today, these singers’ ability to do this is unparalleled,” says the company website.
Mrs. Huang particularly enjoyed the singing.
“My favorite was the soprano actually,” she said. “I was the voice that yelled ‘bravo!’”
Shen Yun’s mission is to impart the beauty and wonder of traditional Chinese culture, which resonates with Mrs. Huang.
“It was important for us, especially the way that [Shen Yun promotes] 5,000 years of culture. That’s huge for us because we are here in Hawaii. And we don’t ever expect to travel to China. And yet we have Chinese in our ancestry, so for our children—they got to see it with their grandparents. And my husband and his sister and I got to share it as adults, and our children will get to grow up seeing this every year. We have a new family tradition.”
“I think if there is any way that any of us here in America and here in Hawaii can help, we want to help because [Shen Yun] is really, really fabulous,” she said. “We hope you will be keep coming back for us to perform here.”
Reporting by Lily Yu and Albert Roman
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.