SUWON, South Korea—On the afternoon on Feb. 9, Kim Sang-gil, headmaster of Ansan Design Culture High School, was in attendance at the Gyeonggi Arts Center. Thinking back on the soloists’ performances, Mr. Kim said, “All of a sudden, I feel like I have a purer heart and mind and that I need to make sure my priorities in life are right. Maybe I am getting old and it is natural that I have such thoughts.”
He added, “As the size of the family is getting smaller and smaller nowadays, family education often focuses only on how to achieve certain goals in the shortest possible time. People should enrich their spiritual lives. However, pleasure and enjoyment are what are driving people in today’s world. With Shen Yun, people could actually feel that their souls were purified within the span of this great performance.”
“During my trip to China, I did see many performances. However, during my stay there, I did not come across any performance that was even close to the refined performance that I see today.”
“I will recommend the show to others. This is a must-see performance,” Mr. Kim repeatedly emphasized.
After watching the same show at night, Ryang Sungil, representative of SSANGBANGWOOL, a well-known Korean company and famous underwear brand, said, “I have seen 5,000 years of Chinese history through music, dancing, and techniques in the two-hour-or-so Shen Yun performance. This kind of opportunity is not easy to come, and it is a good opportunity to learn about [traditional] Chinese culture.”
He claimed that Shen Yun’s songs and orchestra are all very great. Deeply impressed by the female dance Ladies of the Tang Palace, Mr. Ryang mentioned that both of the color and music were all incomparable.
He finally said, “I travel to China on business trips all the time. After seeing the performance today, I have a better understanding of the traditional Chinese culture. And I think it is of benefit to prestigious Korean companies.”
Shen Yun Performers Are Remarkably Talented
Choe Yeong Ran, Associate Professor in Sports Industry and Science at Mokwon University in South Korea and the president of Choe Yeong Ran Dance Company, caught the Feb. 9 performance.
Choe said, “Whether it be the overall coordination or the fantastically beautiful view, (Shen Yun) creates such a wonderful atmosphere. The performance is so great.”
She said, “(Shen Yun performance) tells stories though dance, which is very interesting. Though
some Korean dances do that too, the way Shen Yun unfolds its stories is very attractive. I want to use this part in my own work.”
“The coordination between the dynamic backdrop and the performers are perfect. The performers are remarkably talented; their skills are excellent. Especially the stories in the male dances, I was very touched and impressed.”
“Especially the story of Ne Zha (Ne Zha Churns the Sea), the part where the monks used Muyu, and the students study at school. They were portrayed quite humorously, very interesting and lovely. It makes me want to apply such expressions as well.”
Choe praised Shen Yun performers’ costumes as “incredibly gorgeous.” She said that not only does she see it this way, anyone who has seen Shen Yun “would feel this way, I think.”
Shen Yun is Feast for My Eyes
Choreographer Bok Mi Gyeong of National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts praised Shen Yun, “It is really a feast for my eyes today.”
“After watching Shen Yun today, I can appreciate the rich and colorful Chinese culture,” she said. “I enjoy it very much and it makes me reflect on myself. It looks like Shen Yun’s study on dance movements began a long time ago, and it is a very detailed study. There is a theme for the dance movements in every piece. Different from ballet, this is a technique unique to classical Chinese dance.”
“Though they do the same flips and jumps, Shen Yun’s movements are unique techniques that only classical Chinese dance has,” Bok said, “Though Korean dancers also express emotions, I feel we should deeply reflect on ourselves, and study and organize our dance movements more in depth in the future.”
She highly praised Shen Yun performance’s expression of spirituality. “To express the emotion of any nation, if the performer wants to express it, if her training cannot reach that standard, she cannot express such spirit. The training of skills needs to reach that level and so expresses the spiritual part. Only by uniting the body and the spirit can one express it with one’s body. In the process of training the body, the spirit must also follow.”
“From these perspectives, Shen Yun Performing Arts has its own unique training method (that it can reach the unity of body and spirit). When I was watching the show, it looked like there is a lead dancer, but every performer’s skill level is so uniform, I cannot tell who the lead dancer is.”
I’ve Gained Inspiration and New Ideas from Shen Yun
After seeing the performance, Ms. Ahn Mi-Ryeo, Chairwoman of Korea Pro Makeup Job Interchange Association, who holds a PhD. degree in arts, said, “Each program has its own characteristics. With vigorous male dancers, graceful female dancers and splendid costumes, the performance was fabulous and impeccable. Especially the backdrops, they were well synchronized and perfectly integrated into the performance on the stage!”
After watching the Shen Yun show in 2012, Ahn Mi-Ryeo came to watch the performance again this time. She recollected and said that she was in awe at the uniqueness of Shen Yun’s performance in 2012, such as the smooth connection between Hi-tech backdrops and the stage, and the various stories of ethnic minorities in different eras of Chinese history embedded in the program.
Ms. Ahn indicated that being engaged in the beauty industry, she felt that Shen Yun’s costumes were gorgeous. She also got inspirations from Shen Yun’s performance, saying, “I visited China about 40 times a year, but I have never seen any exquisite performance like Shen Yun. As the Asia Model Festival Awards will be held in Korea next year, it’s great to get some inspiration and new ideas from Shen Yun.”
Moved by Shen Yun’s music and the songs performed by its vocalists, she noted, “The lyrics clearly explained the origin of human beings, which made me have a new understanding on how I came into being through reincarnation.”
She added, “Shen Yun’s performance was so spectacular, which was constituted with marvelous dancing and dynamic, soft, melodious, and enjoyable music. I am thankful to Shen Yun for letting me experience such a magnificent performance.”
Reporting by Kong Yingzi, Frank and Ariel, Yingzi Kong, Runde Zhao, and Quincy Yu, Dai Deman and Joseph Wu
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.