PORTLAND, Ore.— “It was a sense of joy,” said Mary Mehan, premedical student at Portland State University, after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts with her father at the Keller Auditorium on March, 29, 2015. “I feel so blessed.”
Ms. Mehan, who attended the performance with her father, a musician and music teacher, said she was very moved by “the cultural aspect of the show and the unity of the performance.”
Shen Yun aims to revitalize 5,000 years of Chinese culture through award-winning vocalists, an orchestra comprised of both Eastern and Western instruments, vivid costumes, digitally animated projections, and classical Chinese dance.
“I particularly liked the style of dance,” Ms. Mehan said. “It’s so different than you would expect to see from a classical ballet company.”
In particular, she noted how it “was much more natural. I admired the natural, cultural style of the dance and also the unity of the company.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Classical Chinese dance is a culture left to us by the ancients who came before us, its beauty should be riches shared by all of humanity, its purity should not be contaminated.”
Ms. Mehan felt that although the principal dancers were so skilled and distinguished, she said that “any of the dancers could have been at the front of the stage and could have represented the company very, very well.”
In terms of the music, Ms. Mehan and her father were moved by the erhu solo performance by Zhen Wang—of a piece called “All for Today.”
The two-stringed erhu has been called the ‘Chinese violin’ and, with a history of over of over 4,000 years, it is considered one of the most important Chinese instruments.
Mr. Mehan said her father was nearly moved to tears at the erhu’s opening sounds. He enjoyed it so much, she said, that he plans on learning to play the ancient instrument.
“My Dad was particularly taken with the erhu,” she said. “I think he teared up with the first note.”
“It was very, very beautiful and so impressive,” she said.
In all, the storytelling by means of dance was Ms. Mehan’s favorite part.
She said that to understand how “these stories were annexed and frowned upon in China, it was very moving to realize that they have continued on, like the Plum Blossom, with such bravery.”
“Bearing witness to the history, I thought it was very special,” she added.
With a brand-new production each year, Shen Yun’s ability to transcend the boundaries of language and culture continues to bring inspiration and hope to audiences across the globe.
Ms. Mehan concluded that she was “blessed that we were able to receive the grace of their bravery and their artistry.”
“It was fantastic,” she said. “And I feel so lucky that they continue on, and that [we] will have the opportunity to see it again.”
Reporting by Frank Zhang, NTD and Nataly Teplitsky
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.