FORT MYERS, Fla.—Lisa Erhmann, an attorney, and Veronique Schejtman, a legal assistant, were in the audience at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on Feb. 9, where they enjoyed Shen Yun.
Ms. Schejtman was impressed with the performance. “It was absolutely beautiful. I came in not knowing what to expect, and it was just beyond my imagination,” she said.
Ms. Erhmann agreed: “I was so impressed with the movements, the gliding across the stage. And the animation mixed with the dancing was just fabulous.”
A unique aspect of a Shen Yun performance is the animated backdrop. “These digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance: the characters, color of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects,” the Shen Yun website states.
“The history was very educational,” Ms. Schejtman said. “We learned things that we didn’t know: communism in the state of China today, what’s still going on, what people are still struggling with.”
“In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initiated a persecution campaign against Falun Dafa, a meditation discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. While Falun Dafa practitioners in China continue to face horrific abuse, the Party has been extending its persecution outside of China. This includes harassing Shen Yun,” according to the company’s website.
“It’s sad,” Ms. Schejtman said. “But the strength over the adversity and people’s beliefs in a higher being”—that gives you the strength to carry on, to see it through, to overcome, she said. “It’s really powerful.”
“I had no idea that one couldn’t practice meditation in China. That’s unbelievable. It’s very sad,” said Ms. Erhmann, referring to the persecution of Falun Dafa.
Ms. Erhmann said she enjoyed the combination of the traditional culture and folk dance. “It was unique!”
She said the performance “was uplifting overall,” and “the singing was gorgeous.” And she found the lyrics of the songs to be calming and very spiritual.
Ms. Schejtman agreed: “The sopranos were amazing! Everyone was just so talented.” She said all the artists are highly trained and gave beautifully executed performances—“stunning!”
“The primary trait that distinguishes the Shen Yun singers is their use of the bel canto technique to sing Chinese text,” the Shen Yun website states. “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.”
“It was a privilege!” Ms. Erhmann said of the experience. “I can’t wait to share it with my children, to go to the website and show them.”
“They all did a fantastic job,” Ms. Schejtman said of the artists. “They obviously have worked hard! It was a really, really special event.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Cheryl Casati
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.