COSTA MESA, Calif.—The popularity of the world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts is undeniable. Performances were added to venues in response to their audiences’ demand in several cities this 2016 season. Similarly, the afternoon performance of April 17 was added at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts where a couple of prominent audience members, Gordon Hunt and Barbara Hart, attended.
Mr. Hunt, an award-winning lawyer of the prestigious Robert Flaig Award, is a well-known authority on construction law and litigation in California,
His accolades include The Los Angeles Construction Lawyer of the Year 2011 & 2013 by U.S. News and Media Group, “Super Lawyer” in construction law by Law and Politics Magazine, “Best Lawyer” by Woodward/White, Inc., and “America’s Leading Lawyers.” Mr. Hunt is AV® Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell.
Over five decades, Mr. Hunt has authored extensive works on construction law, and lectured at length for many groups in the construction industry. He co-authored “California Construction Law,” which is widely read and considered the authoritative guide for construction firms doing business in California.
Although Mr. Hunt is retired, his legacy and his law firm, Hunt Ortmann, continue. The firm consists of 26 lawyers, and has been rated as The Super Lawyers by Peers Review Rated. It retains a long list of distinguished clients from public to private entities.
Mr. Hun appreciated, and was inspired by, the spirituality of China’s traditional culture conveyed in Shen Yun’s performance.
He saw it considerably in the lyrics of baritone Qu Yue’s song “What You Are Here For,” and soprano Haolan Geng‘s “The Moment of Salvation,” projected behind the singers.
He said, “We came from heaven and will go back to heaven. Then there is a reference about reincarnation, so maybe we will come back again.”
Audience members are often moved by the philosophical messages, reminding people that there is more to life than the material world.
“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,” explains Shen Yun’s website.
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.” But 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, nonprofit Shen Yun Performing Arts in New York. It aims to revive the traditional Chinese culture, and shares it with the world through story-based dance and music.
Ms. Barbara Hart, retired international lecturers and author, was deeply touched by the stories depicted in the performance.
“Magnificent, magnificent. Great history, also a performance of body movement, mind, body and soul come together. Namaste from the spirit and from the heart,” said Ms. Hart. The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.
“They told the story beautifully. It opened up our eyes, and it opened up our heart,” said Ms. Hart. “[Shen Yun] is one of the prettiest, most beautiful form of the art, with so much history, imagination and creativity behind it, and talent.”
She said, “I think it shows people the power of the all-mighty, and how we come from inside out.”
Equally touched by Shen Yun’s presentation of traditional Chinese culture from 5,000 years before to modern day, and the oppression under the Chinese communist rule, Mr. Hunt said, “About 15 years ago, a young entrepreneur from China spoke to a group that I was with. He thought once the old generation passes, his generation was going to take over, and things would change. But I don’t think it’s happened yet.”
Ms. Hart added, “They had not been very hopeful, and now they are becoming more hopeful, because they have a voice, they are using their voice more and taking a wish to do that.”
Mr. Hunt had high hope for the people in China: “My hope will be the young people who were represented in the show tonight will move as fast as they could to a more open and free society, not held down and suppressed by the government.”
Mr. Hunt said he would tell his friends that Shen Yun is a very wonderful performance, and that they should take the time to go see it.
Reporting by Jana Li 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.