ESCONDIDO, Calif.—"The dancing is incredible. I really enjoyed it," said retired Marine Joe Maher after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido on Friday evening, Dec. 28.
"The music is incredible as well. It's a combination of classical and oriental … just a great sound."
Joining Mr. Maher was Sylvia Carr, a program manager in software development. She said: "I've never seen such combination of color, and dancing. And the background and the music, and it's just a bunch of very talented dancers."
Along with the brilliant, colorful handmade costumes, original choreography, and musical arrangements that are created brand new each year, the digitally mastered backdrops give one a sense of heaven and earth coming together in a magical way. Ms. Carr said that she enjoyed the backdrops as they appeared "three dimensional."
In ancient Chinese culture it is said that in order to portray true art one must have a pure heart and the audience will be able to feel what the artist is trying to express. Ms. Carr shared her excitement of being able to see "every muscle movement … the facial expressions and be able to follow the storyline for each scene."
This was the second year in a row that Mr. Maher watched Shen Yun. With eager anticipation, he spoke to his friends about Shen Yun saying, "What an incredible show it is and how it's really worth the time and the money to see it."
"Very enjoyable; I'd recommend it to anybody," said Ms. Carr.
'Quite beautiful and inspiring'
Also in the audience was New Thought Spiritual Center minister Guy Williams who said at intermission he thoroughly enjoyed the performance and how the first half of the evening had exceeded his expectations.
While Shen Yun's mission is to restore China's 5,000 years of divine culture through the performing arts, it also sheds light on the persecution of Falun Gong (a peaceful spiritual practice) in mainland China. An Unexpected Encounter is a dance that made a strong impression on Mr. Williams. He said: "Where the father and the daughter were taking photographs and encountered the Falun Gong. That really startled me; the poignancy of it. I found it quite beautiful and inspiring.
"This is speaking to the heart of people who are seeking spiritual experience, who are seeking spiritual freedom, or religious freedom and trying to find that expression, and seeing how even though it is repressed, it is still alive in China."
Mr. Williams said he would recommend Shen Yun to others, saying, "It's well worth it … nothing that you are going to expect to see at all … by all means see it."
Reporting by Jane Yang.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will be in Escondido for performances at the California Center for the Arts through Dec. 31.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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