Author Says Shen Yun ‘Will make your heart smile’

February 27, 2014

ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Carolyn Gross and her friend Shelly Craig attended opening night for Shen Yun Performing Arts, at the California Center for the Arts, on Feb. 26.

Ms. Gross is an author of several wellness books, and a noted award-winning speaker, patient advocate, and health and wellness expert. She has been seen on NBC, ABC, and Lifetime TV.

Ms. Craig is a sales consultant for cosmetics.

Ms. Gross’s first impression of Shen Yun was, “I think it’s very calming, beautiful, and informative about another culture.”

“I love the spiritual undertones and education as well, of how it’s so important for our world and society,” she said.

Shen Yun’s website describes, “Throughout history almost every culture looked toward the divine for inspiration. Art was meant to uplift, bringing joy to both the people who created and experienced it. It is this principle that drives Shen Yun performers and their art.”

The spiritual aspect was important to Ms. Gross: “I think it’s the reason we’re here, to help each other and find harmony in our lives.”

“I love the arts. They lift us. They lift our spirits,” added Ms. Craig.

Soprano Tianling Song performed the opening song “The True Purpose of Life,” which brings a message of hope and compassion for all sentient beings.

Enchanted by the music Ms. Craig said, “I love the opening with the soprano. And that message. It was really beautiful.”

“The song texts the singers perform are original works written for these pieces. Brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and containing deep layers of meaning, the texts go beyond the boundaries of nation, race, and culture, and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over. Some audience members even express that Shen Yun’s vocal pieces are reminiscent of sacred music,” explains the website.

Ms. Craig loved “all the different instruments” and was enlightened when one of the hosts explained the orchestra.

To guide the audience into each new realm, Shen Yun performances are always hosted by two bilingual emcees.

The Shen Yun Orchestra accompanies each show. The website describes its uniqueness: “A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear.”

The orchestra provides a musical backdrop for each of the dance pieces, which cover China’s 5,000 years of history. Each story is told through Chinese dance, itself an art form that has been developed over millennia.

The precision of the dancing intrigued Ms. Craig: “It’s extraordinary dancing.”

Shen Yun covers all of China’s history, including the present day. In particular, some pieces pertain to Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice. “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,” according to the website. The persecution continues today.

Ms. Craig thought it was “disheartening to hear that they’re not able to practice. You know even simple meditation.”

The recommendation Ms. Gross is going to give her friends and family about Shen Yun is “you need to go see this! It will make your heart smile!”

Reporting by Jane Yang and Cheryl Casati

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.

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Shen Yun New York Company