COSTA MESA, Calif.—Victoria Chang an American award winning poet and writer, has an impressive portfolio and numerous awards. She brought her two daughters to the afternoon performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts, at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, on April 16th.
“It’s physical poetry. It’s poetry through dancing,” Ms. Chang said, “If you watch very carefully, you see how every movement is very precise, they train very hard to make it look very easy.”
Ms. Chang has a Taiwanese father and her mother was Chinese. Being the first generation born in the United States she thought it was important to give her daughters a taste of genuine ancient Chinese culture.
“To bring them and show them this is part of their heritage too,” Ms. Chang added, “They get to see something that they don’t get to normally see.”
“It’s good for the children, culturally,” she continued, “That’s why I wanted to bring them to see this, because you don’t have to go anywhere, and you still get to experience culture.”
Shen Yun, a non-profit based in upstate New York brings the profound spirit of the genuine ancient Chinese civilization to life on stage with unrivaled artistic mastery. Every dance movement, every musical note, makes this a stunning visual and emotional experience you won’t find anywhere else. Banned in communist China today, Shen Yun is dedicated to reviving the best of 5,000 years of divinely inspired civilization.
The majesty of classical Chinese dance is earned through rigorous and precise training. Shen Yun’s website says, “Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years, passed down continuously within the imperial palace and ancient Chinese theater and opera. Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.”
Ms. Chang appreciated the hard work it takes for the dancers to move with the delicate grace and beauty that makes their dancing look effortless.
“Watching them dance, it’s very fluid and they all are in unison,” Ms. Chang said, “You know how much work went into it. From a writer’s stand point, that’s your similar goal, it’s to write something that’s very easy to make people feel something, but you work so hard to create it.”
Amazing was a word she used for the dancers.
“I went online and was watching some of the profiles of the dancers before and it’s just amazing how much they train to do this,” she added.
“I think about it when they are doing this, … people danced like this thousands of years ago, … I try and put myself—I pretend that I am from thousands of years ago watching these same dances,” she said.
“I think it’s really incredible that they’re still able to revive it, and learn it and teach all these young people how to do it,” continuing she said. “Then we get to sit here and watch it. It’s incredible!”
“Shen Yun’s costume artists collect countless designs of traditional attire, ranging from those of emperors, ministers, and generals to the everyday clothing of the common people. They use bright colors to tailor and recreate hundreds of new pieces each season. Every detail is given meticulous attention and is a result of artistic inspiration and careful polishing. The designers stress harmonic balance and contrast. Their objective is an authentic presentation of the attire that comes from China’s divinely inspired traditional culture, and a consummate stage effect,” states the company website.
“The costumes are really amazing, they’re so bright, colorful, I like it a lot,” she said. “It’s nice to see, and then the stories, it’s also a lot of theater and acting too.”
The songs of Shen Yun are all original, they are sung in Chinese using the bel canto technique and have a deep spiritual meaning. They are rich with philosophical reflection, and contain deep layers of meaning. The lyrics are displayed on the digitally animated backdrop in English for the audience.
The deep spiritual meanings bring to mind the scared music of all cultures, races, and nations.
The heavenly content brought thoughts about God and the struggles of life, and they were poetry and art merging for Ms. Chang.
“They have something of poetry. It’s nice to think about all the arts intersecting,” she said. “Reading some of the lyrics, you think about how these things bring out a different part of your feelings and emotions. The more poetic and artistic things that everybody might not think about on a daily basis.”
She added, “life is a struggle but there is something at the end of it all that’s heavenly.”
Reporting by Yaning 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.
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.