ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—It’s not everyday a group of savvy business owners can agree on something, but that is just what happened at Shen Yun Performing Arts on Saturday.
Real estate heavyweights Jim Rohr and Ann Rogers attended the Feb. 8 matinee with engineer William Morgan at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, and heaped praise on the performance during intermission.
“It’s the most wonderful thing I’ve seen in quite a while,” said Mr. Rohr. “It’s just fabulous.”
“Absolutely fantastic, I love it,” agreed Mr. Morgan.
“I think it’s lovely. It [has] so much grace, and that has taken me aback,” added Ms. Rogers. “It’s also very clever.”
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006, it has taken the world by storm with a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture—a culture decimated under decades of repression by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Rogers, former owner of Keller Williams Realty Gulf Coast franchise and founder of Ann Rogers & Associates, now works with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.
“It is a really exciting and interesting way to present such meaningful material,” she said, adding the performers’ obvious enthusiasm was moving.
“I think that dance, like any art, when it’s meaningful it comes from the heart—it has a different portrayal then it does when It’s just for fun,” Ms. Rogers said.
“And to combine the fun and the meaningfulness of the message, that’s when it’s really a different way to get across to those who aren’t familiar with this style of expression,” she added.
Mr. Morgan, founder of Manatee Trading LLC, said the fact that Shen Yun cannot perform in China—where the traditional culture remains suppressed—was a tragedy.
“The [performers] are trying to preserve their culture and share that culture with us, because they’re not allowed to do it back home,” he said. “I really hate that because culture is everything—being able to pass down traditions, that’s very, very important.”
He further commented, “I feel very grateful that they’re able to do it here and share that with us, but I wish they could share it back home.”
The themes of traditional Chinese culture and philosophy featured in the story-based dance—such as karmic retribution and filial piety, are universal.
Mr Morgan explained, “We all believe in good and evil and we all believe in family, in our culture, our traditions. It’s very very important that we hold on to those things and pass those down to our children.”
Mr. Rohr, who co-owns a local real estate agency, was entranced by the aesthetic effects in the show, particularly the digitally animated backdrops.
The backdrops are timed precisely to create the illusion that the dancers can jump in and out of the screen. “The dance moves, the color and the interaction with the [backdrop’s] animation is fabulous,” he said.
“The coordination between the animation and the [dancers], its just amazing how the timing is all sequenced together,” said Mr. Morgan. “The coordination is just really fantastic.”
According to the Shen Yun website the costumes artists create hundreds of new pieces each season, with the aim of achieving “harmonic balance and contrast.”
Mr. Morgan also adored the colorful costumes featured in the performance. “The outfits [are] very, very colorful. The colors are very easy on the eyes,” he said. “I really like it a lot.”
Ms. Rogers said the performance was eye-opening and helped her to see the world from a different cultural perspective.
“It opens your box of thinking up a little bit,” she said. “And that’s always good.”
Reporting by Kerry Huang and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.