LAS VEGAS—Mr. Randy Soard and his companion Ms. Cindy Doumani attended Shen Yun for a third time together at the sold out performance at Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 23.
Mr. Soard, a retired mechanical engineer, is a member of the board of directors of the Nevada Arts Advocates, a non-profit organization that promotes arts education and fundraising for arts programs in local schools.
“I have always been an artist and a photographer so we travel all over the world and see everything, especially cultural things… [We] have done quite a bit of arts advocacy and professional photography,” said Mr. Soard.
Shen Yun is an annual event for Mr. Soard and Ms. Doumani. “I think it’s incredible; we have seen it before,” said Mr. Soard, “We have seen it three times.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of civilization through the universal language of music and dance. The performance features classical Chinese dance as well as ethnic and folk dances, and employs a live orchestra which combines Western classical instruments and Chinese traditional instruments.
In addition to promoting the arts, Mr. Soard is an accomplished artist. He created a poster which memorializes the firefighters, police officers, and other uniformed emergency workers who fell in the line of duty during 9/11. Some of his artwork was shown in Times Square on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and it can be seen in fire departments and emergency medical service facilities in over 50 countries, according to Mr. Soard’s website.
“We really like the special effects of the screen where it is interactive,” said Mr. Soard. “Especially, when the guys are jumping in and out of the screen [onto the stage].”
Mr. Soard was referring to Shen Yun’s stage backdrops, which are an integral part of the performance as dancers and mythical characters appear on screen one moment, and on stage the next.
According to Shen Yun’s website, “The backdrops are magical windows to completely different realms. From vast open grasslands in one dance to the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions in another. So remarkably true to life, they allow you to forget where you are, and journey to another place and time.”
Ms. Doumani is a notable figure for her humanitarian work related to protecting children and animals in the Las Vegas community. She has received the “Humanitarian of the Year” award from the Las Vegas Chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), among other awards, and she is the only showgirl to have a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars; hers is located in front of the MGM Grand. She is also an event coordinator for The Showbiz Society which hosts a weekly TV show promoting “Entertainment Las Vegas Style.”
“I enjoy the music, especially the Chinese instruments,” said Ms. Doumani.
Shen Yun’s website explains: “The Shen Yun Orchestra masterfully blends two of the world’s greatest classical music traditions. Ancient Chinese instruments such as the soul-stirring erhu and the delicate pipa lead the melody on top of a full orchestra of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass.”
As a former professional dancer, Ms. Doumani said that “the dancing is exquisite. I had worked seven years as a professional dancer, danced ballet, Tahitian, and as a showgirl here in Las Vegas.”
“Classical Chinese dance is grounded in 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture,” says Shen Yun’s website, “and is a dance art form built upon a deep foundation of traditional aesthetics.”
Ms. Doumani was also very impressed with the costumes of Shen Yun.
The costume designers “objective is an authentic presentation of the attire that comes from China’s divinely inspired traditional culture,” says the website.
Reporting by Lu Rusong, Jennifer Liang, and Robin Kemker
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.