COSTA MESA, Calif.—It was a doctor’s night out on March 15, when Dr. James Kurtzman and Dr. Kenneth James came with their wives to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
Dr. Kurtzman, who specializes in dealing with high-risk pregnancies, has won several Patient’s Choice Awards in Orange County, and has been the recipient of the National Award for Research Excellence four times.
“It was fantastic. I really enjoyed it,” said Dr. Kurtzman. “The dancing was incredible, the music was really fantastic. Particularly I thought the instrumentals were very moving.”
Shen Yun uses music and Chinese dance to bring Chinese culture to life and spread it to the world. Each performance involves a number of short dance pieces set to music by the Shen Yun Orchestra, as well as solo musical pieces.
Dr. Kurtzman was especially taken by the erhu, a two-stringed bowed instrument capable of a huge expressive range.
“I thought she did an incredible job,” said Dr. Kurtzman of the erhu performance. “I mean to make that kind of sound out of two strings, it was very moving and we don’t get to hear that instrument here.”
“And the pianist that was accompanying her was a perfect complement,” he continued.
Dr. Kurtzman also has a background in piano, so the music was particularly engaging for him.
“They did a great job and I really appreciate it,” he said. “All that they put into it.”
Dr. James, who is also in OBYN and has a practice in Laguna Beach, was impressed with the show overall.
“It was breath-taking. Thought it was beautiful and the dancing was artistic, the music was fabulous. Just a beautiful performance,” said Dr. James.
Supporting each dance is a digital backdrop that “creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one,” explains the Shen Yun website.
Dr. Kurtzman said the performance was “visually stunning. I was really taking in the colors and the movement. I mean it was very stunning.”
Further adding to the colors are the costumes that are unique to each dance. The Shen Yun website explains: “Every costume in a Shen Yun performance is presented with brilliant colors, displaying a splendid spectacle—from the Tang Dynasty’s “Raiment of Rainbows and Feathers” to imperial dragon robes, phoenix coronets, and cloud capes; from the civil official’s headdress and robes to the warrior’s helmet and armor.”
Dr. James also appreciated the colors and visual appeal of the performance, “it was colorful, flowing, beauty. Artistry. Just a beautiful show.”
Chinese culture is considered to be divinely imparted, and thus in a Shen Yun performance “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture,” according to the website.
Some of the content in Shen Yun is drawn from things happening today in China, such as the persecution of Falun Gong, a meditation practice rooted in Chinese traditional culture that the regime in China has targeted since 1999.
“I appreciate that it was optimistic even though they were revealing some of those things,” said Dr. Kurtzman of the pieces dealing with modern China. “There was definitely optimism that came through in the show. Even in the scenes that were more difficult, there was still optimism there. And there was a lot of joy in the faces of the performers, which I appreciated as well.”
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