SAN JOSE, Calif.—”The show is wonderful—it’s dramatic, it’s vibrant, colorful, energized, passionate,” said CFO John Supan after he attended Shen Yun on Jan. 3 at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.
“The performances are exceedingly crisp and well-seasoned,” Mr. Supan said. He could see the passion in the dancers’ expressions: “It looks like it’s total joy for them as they are up there on stage, doing what they love.”
New York-based Shen Yun has toured the world since 2006, bringing audiences its stunning displays of classical Chinese dance and live orchestra. The company’s mission is to revive the five thousand years of Chinese culture and heritage through music and dance.
According to Shen Yun’s website, “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.”
Mr. Supan felt that society needs the values that are expressed in Shen Yun. “Because they are timeless—they are human values, and they have no expiration.”
The Chinese culture and values are “very interesting and relevant,” he said. “It particularly resonates with my own personal experience, and it’s just terrific. And keeping it alive is something that’s important to do.”
Mr. Supan attended with his brother and mother and sat in the front row. He said Shen Yun took classical Chinese dance to a level he hadn’t seen before.
He appreciated the beauty of the live orchestra accompanying the dancers, which combines Chinese and Western instruments for a unique sound. He said the combination “works beautifully,” and the music is “very well adapted and blends very well together.”
Many of the dance pieces tell stories and legends from Chinese history. Mr. Supan especially enjoyed The Fable of the Magic Brush, which tells of a young painter who receives a magic paintbrush that brings anything it paints to life.
“Without text, it told a complete message. You didn’t have to guess what was going on. … The blending of the video with the live performances was very clever and well-presented,” he added, referring to the animated digital backdrop that serves as virtual props and scenery.
“See it when you can. Don’t miss it,” he said.
Reporting by Abraham Thompson and Sally Appert.