SAN JOSE, Calif.—Dr. John Moran, chief medical officer of a pharmaceutical company and first time watcher of Shen Yun Performing Arts, gave the show a “5 out of 5.”
Moran said he has seen many Western dance performances and operas, but Shen Yun held its own compared with other major companies.
New York-based Shen Yun is the premier classical Chinese dance company, focused on reviving 5,000-years of traditional Chinese culture. It performed at the Centre for Performing Arts in San Jose, California, on Dec. 19, at the start of its 2019 touring season.
Moran is an experienced nephrologist, who currently heads the clinical team at Prometic, a multi-national pharmaceutical company. He has also worked as a consulting professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Moran said that as a first time audience-member he appreciated being able to learn about the different periods in China’s long history.
“I think it is great to be able to represent several thousand years in a such a short space of time,” he said.
China’s history is littered with countless stories, all of which embody the essence of its deep culture. Traditional Chinese culture is said to be “divinely-inspired,” which is based on the ancient idea of China being the “celestial empire,” a land where the divine and mortals coexisted. Over time, the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism were infused into the culture, creating a rich system of values. Shen Yun seeks to depict such stories on stage, showcasing the heart of this divinely-inspired culture.
This was also the first time Moran saw the different styles of Chinese dance, from various folk and ethnic dance styles, to classical Chinese dance.
He was particularly impressed by the countless hours of practice that dancers must have to go through before performing on stage, which have honed sheer athleticism into art.
“I can come and appreciate the dance, the skills, the talent,” he said. “I look at those things and think of the hundreds of hours of practice that goes into it. Ten thousand hours! Right?”
Many of Shen Yun’s dancers and choreographers are world-renowned artists and have won awards in their fields. In addition to dance, Shen Yun’s performances often feature musical soloists, including bel canto vocalists who sing original pieces in Chinese, with English translations of the lyrics projected on the digital backdrop.
The lyrics of the songs also resonated with Moran.
“We leave as bare as we came,” he said, describing the message of one of the songs. “That is a common saying in English as well. We come naked in the world and naked we leave, it is a universal belief.”
And it is ultimately this message that Moran takes away from the show, “We’re here for a short time. So we should be good.”
With reporting by Qian Zhang and Cathy He.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.