COSTA MESA, Calif.—Louise Toth brought her friend to see the world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts’ sold-out performance at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 15.
Ms. Toth cried and cried during and after the performance. “Oh my god! It’s fantastic. Everybody should see it … Everybody cried. I’m crying when I am trying to tell you about it. It’s so wonderful,” Ms. Toth said. “[It’s] magnificent, glorious, awesome.”
Louise Toth is a Renaissance woman. She was a school teacher. She is an artist who built and designed homes, and stained glass windows. Best known for creating amazing jewelry pieces, she designs and owns an Egyptian jewelry line.
Being an entrepreneur, she founded Gratitude Media, LLC. With accomplished trainers, she helps businesses achieve greater success through speaking engagements and business training. Her clients include several giant corporations.
One of Ms. Toth’s major accomplishments is being an award winning author. She received the Gold Seal for Literary Excellence, and is a member of Cambridge Who’s Who. Her award winning novel “Thoth & Jesus of Egypt” is a true story of her adventures in Egypt. Being a philanthropist, she contributes all profits from the novel to “Feed The Children Charity.”
Much of her work revolves around sharing what she has learned and created. In Shen Yun, she saw something inspirational she wanted to share with the world.
China, Past and Present
China was known as the “Celestial Kingdom,” a unique land where the divine and mortals coexisted. The ancient Chinese believed that Chinese culture was brought down from the heavens, that the divine, through various dynasties, transmitted a rich and abundant culture to the Chinese people. Chinese culture is thus known to be “divinely inspired.” Since the time of the Yellow Emperor over 5,000 years ago, Chinese people have been taught to be in harmony with heaven, earth, and humankind.
But after the Chinese Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, this traditional culture has nearly been destroyed under the Chinese Communist regime.
In 2006, a group of leading classical Chinese artists from around the world founded the independent, non-profit Shen Yun Performing Arts in New York to revive traditional Chinese culture, and to share it with the world through story-based dance and music.
Through approximately 20 vignettes, audiences are invited to take a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese civilization that includes myths, legends, and modern stories of courage where “mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
Ms. Toth was deeply touched by the divine aspect of traditional Chinese culture conveyed in Shen Yun’s performance, and noted the importance of acknowledging the existence of God.
She was referring to two vignettes called “The Divine Renaissance Begins,” and “Hope for the Future,” depicting the Creator descending to earth to save humanity.
Although Ms. Toth is no longer a school teacher, her love for her student never ceases. She wanted to share her inspiration with them.
“I used to be a school teacher. I’d love to bring the children. All children should see this. So they know for sure there is a God [that] makes everything beautiful,” Ms. Toth said. “I wish I had my kids from school that I could bring to see it. I would have them in the front row, it’s life changing for children particularly.”
She explained that seeing Shen Yun’s performance, children “would stand up taller”, and have hope for knowing that God is coming to earth, and saying “Come to heaven, come be with us.”
Beauty and the Divine
Ms. Toth appreciated this theme in the performance: “It’s a story [about] how God makes our life beautiful. That’s really what it is. It’s about beauty.”
A Shen Yun performance includes classical, folk, and ethnic dances, accompanied by digital interactive backdrops and a unique live orchestra combining Chinese and Western instruments. Additionally, there are bel canto singers sung in Chinese and instrumentalists interspersed throughout the performance. All of this is enriched by the brilliant colors and textures of the 400 original, handmade costumes.
Ms. Toth was impressed with Shen Yun’s artistry, the beauty, physical strength, and strong conviction of the dancers, the lyrics and the bel canto vocalists: “It was amazing … It was magnificent—It’s fantastic.”
She said, “I heard that there are four companies that go around the world doing this on a consecutive basis. Everybody needs to see it. Thank you so much.”
According to the company, each season, Shen Yun produces an all-new performance, and has four companies that simultaneously perform around the globe.
Ms. Toth would recommend Shen Yun to everyone: “I just want to tell everybody to please see it, because it’s so wonderful. It’s just fantastic. You will love it, you will love it. You will just love it.”
She continued: “You can come by yourself, or you can come with friends. You will love it. Because there are a lot of people, you can come by yourself and just sit there perfectly happy. Everybody should see it.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Thanh Le
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.